Movie: Shooter (R)
Released: March 23rd, 2007
Runtime: 2 hr. 4 min.
Ticket Price: $5.00 Early Matinee
Refreshments: Swedish Fish
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Michael Pena, Kate Mara and Danny Glover
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Rating: Worth a Matinee –
Synopsis: A marksmen and former military sniper leaves the military after a mission goes badly. Three years later, he gets called back into duty to help stave off a potential assassination attempt on the president. This is all a setup to use him as the patsy for the real assassination. He ends up on the run from a nationwide manhunt by authorities and the people who set him up. He sets out to find who is behind all this and clear his name while trying to stay alive in the process.
Review: Shooter doesn’t quite hit the mark. It’s a fun ride though and Mark Wahlberg (The Departed, The Italian Job) does make a pretty good action hero, but overall, the story left a little to be desired. Shooter is based on the book, Point of Impact by Stephen Hunter. The movie has updated the timeframe of the story from 20 years after the Vietnam War to a more present day one.
A Colonel Johnson, played by Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon), talks Bob Lee Swagger (Wahlberg) back into service for his country. He is to help bring down a potential assassination of the president by scouting the sites and figuring out where he would take the shot. Swagger lets them know where he thinks the best vantage points are and where the best place to attempt this would be. The Colonel asks him to be there on the day of the presidential visit to help be his eyes, since he knows best what to look for.
When the assassination actually takes place, they try to kill him, but the inept cop they hired to do the job got him twice, but didn’t finish him off before Swagger could escape. Now on the run and injured, he must do what he can to survive. This includes heading for the only person he thinks he might be able to trust, the wife, played by Kate Mara (We Are Marshall), of his dead friend who was killed during his last mission, three years ago.
This is where the movie really takes off, jumping from location to location, each with there own action packed gun battles and big explosions and all quite picturesque. Many of these scenes are great and are what you go to a big action movie for, the adrenaline rush, the good guy taking it to the bad guys and so forth. As long as you don’t worry about how the most wanted man in America can get around to all these places and get his hands on plenty of sniper equipment to boot, you will probably enjoy this film. He must keep one large wad of cash in his sock.
Where I had the biggest problem with Shooter is how they wrap up the story. The ending, while displaying Swaggers cleverness at one point, seems to come too fast. Not to mention, you can see it coming from 1760 yards away. After the almost two hours you have set through to that point, you want more of a confrontation with the bad guys in what turns out to be an anti-climatic finale.
Hey, maybe even a few words uttered by our hero at the end of the move would have been good. There is no “yippe-ki-yay motherâ€¦” at any point in the movie to remember it by, but the final scenes would have been the perfect place to insert one. Once you’ve seen the movie, one initially comes to mind. I mean they set it up a couple of times towards the end of the movie, but never pay it off. Sometimes, even a cliche is better than nothing at all.
It just didn’t seem like there was enough of a resolution to the events. The why this all happened and for what purpose all gets lost amongst all the exploding helicopters and bullets flying all over the place. The explanations are about as shadowy as the organization that is trying to cover them up. Sitting here as I type this, I can’t even recall what they might have been other than, the generic, money and power.
The story does leave open the possibility of Bob Lee Swagger coming back to the big screen to shoot again. Since the Bob Lee character does appear in two more of Hunter’s novels, Black Light and Time to Hunt, if the movie does well, Wahlberg may have found himself an action franchise. At any rate, or at least the price of a matinee, I would probably go see another one. Would you?