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If you were to take the best parts of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan series
(Patriot Games, Clear And Present Danger, Sum of All Fears) and mixed
in the best parts of the only good Rambo film (First Blood) you would
end up with something akin to Shooter. Shooter is a smart, engaging and
all out enjoyable action flick that never pulls its punches and always
surprises you when you least expect it.
Mark Whalberg plays the role of Bob Lee Swagger, a former military sniper who quit the army following a disastrous mission where his best friend and spotter is killed when they are left behind. Three years later he is hired by a Colonel (played with gusto by Danny Glover) to figure out how a suspected assassin is going to attempt to kill the President from over a mile away, a shot that few could make. Swagger figures out how it is going to be done and is asked to supervise locating the sniper on site. But on the day of the supposed assassination, Swagger is set up with the assassination attempt that kills a visiting diplomat. Swagger is then left on the hunt while trying to prove his innocence.
Shooter twists and turns with an elaborate conspiracy that is very convincing, though of course the writers wimp out and take the cheap road of drawing international oil into the plot (can't writers think of an original plot device?). However, this is hardly a drawback since the rest of the film is solid as a rock. The film really puts you into the shoes of a sniper and gives an impressive overview of the mindset that it takes to be as accurate as someone of the character of Swagger.
The only real distractions in the film would be Elias Koteas, whose psycho performance is heavy-handed and does not fit the film, and Kate Mara who has little to do throughout the film but appear upset or in distress. The film could have done without either characters or their respective actors. As well, some of the character relations seem forced at time, particularly in the relationship between Michael Peña's character of Nick Memphis and his FBI confidante Lourdes, played by Rhona Mitra. Their almost effortless camaraderie comes off as less than convincing.
Overall, Shooter certainly delivers as an entertaining thrill-ride that is certainly not dumbed down in the least. If you want an intelligent action film with lots of impressive gun play and several elaborate, thrilling action sequences to boot, Shooter is right up your alley and will not disappoint. 7.6 out of 10
I came into this film with loads of skepticism, but I came out feeling
completely the opposite. Shooter takes you into the life of retired
Marine Scout Sniper Bob Lee Swagger, who retired after a mission went
completely wrong. He is called back to give information as to how
someone would be able to kill the president from over a mile away. He
ends up being framed for the attempted murder of the president, and the
murder of an archbishop of Ethopia, and must prove his innocence, at
Mark Wahlberg does a perfect job of portraying a detached veteran who has no respect for the government, and really brings the character to you. He is backed up by an outstanding Michael Pena and Danny Glover who add to the film like no one else could. The only real complaint is that Kate Mara's character, the widowed wife of Swagger's best friend seems to only play two emotions, distressed, or hysterical, and it does get annoying, though she plays the part well. Elias Kosteas did a good job playing Jack Payne, a borderline psychotic government agent, though at times his part seems over the top.
All in all this film blew me away and I couldn't have loved it more. Anyone who is into action movies of any kind definitely needs to see this movie.
Mark Wahlberg might be the Bruce Willis of the new generation. His taciturn Bobby Swagger is perfect. The action is basically nonstop and very gritty. Bobby is a sniper who has retired to the mountains after being screwed by the government in an event which finds his sidekick dead. After being set up, he is stone cold killer. Think Jason Bourne as someone who remembers his past is really p.o.'d about it. The acting is good all around, with Glover and Beatty as bad guys you love to hate. Underlying all this a morality tale about what this country and its government have become. Many situations, of course, stretch the imagination , but watching a sense of honor prevail, no matter how briefly, is worth the price of admission. No Oscar nominations here, but a big bundle of money for the producers will be no surprise.
I was surprised in many ways by shooter. #1, I was surprised by the
release. I follow movies and I didn't hear about this title until early
this year. #2, I was amazed by Marks ability to sell me on his acting
skills. #3, By the fact that the most established actors in this title,
Ned and Danny may have given career killing performances. I think Tony
Todd and Stephen Root would have been solid choices, but my guess is
the two poor performances were bought for name recognition.
To me this had Eastwood written all over it. At times I thought I was watching Line of Fire at others Unforgiven, but in the end it was just really good entertainment, much like The Bourne movies.
I think it's worth the watch and the story although not new was presented in a fresh manner. This one will go in my collection when available. I'm sure it will have a host of deleted scenes and alternate endings.
I had the opportunity to catch an advance screening of this film the other day. Similarities to other projects aside, I was impressed by the use of some of the newer military technology involved. The film was both engaging and entertaining, and Mark Wahlberg did a very good job of portraying the character in all of his idiosyncrasies. It was good to see Danny Glover again as I have not had the opportunity to see him in any films of late. His character was not exactly multidimensional but I would assume that it was what the writing called for, and certainly different from the one he portrays in the "Lethal Weapon" series, not much comedy here. Now if I could only get a hold of the script... Needless to say, my wife and I enjoyed the movie very much and would definitely recommend to go and see it.
Never mess with someone who can drop you with his gun from miles away.
Snipers somehow has this aura of mystique and sexiness associated with
the motto of "one shot, one kill", as exhibited in movies like Enemy at
the Gates, or memorable war characters such as in Saving Private Ryan.
In Shooter, this gets demystified for a while, hitting home that not
only should one be gifted with the pulling of the trigger from
incredible distance, a sniper is also a master mathematician, having to
compute the trajectory of the round with factors of humidity, wind
direction, angle etc just to hit the target.
Mark Wahlberg stars as Bob Lee Swagger, whom director Antoine Fuqua makes him literally walk with a swagger in all the silhouetted slow motion shots. A battle hardened veteran with ghosts from the past (don't they all), he gets tempted back to assist the authorities in order to feed his patriotic adrenaline, only to find himself screwed and framed for a treasonous crime he did not commit. It's cat and mouse as prey becomes hunter, and tries to exact justice and at the same time, to try and prove his innocence. Expect the usual guns, explosions, and plenty of blood and gore.
Shooter plays off like an urban Rambo meeting The Fugitive, only this time Dr Richard Kimble has biceps the size of melons and fights back with deadly accuracy from his rifle. He runs from the authorities, firmly put as the scheming villains involved in shady deals and the existence of a covert group of greed ala X-Files, one of whom is played by Danny Glover, in a rare turn of alignment to the dark side. No self-respecting beefcake wannabe can do without some DIY operation scene to keep alive, or some montage in gathering and making new weapons (pipe bombs, napalm anyone?), and half the time I was wondering about Mark Wahlberg being the quintessential new generation action hero.
Gone are the days when Hollywood action movie were ruled by the Stallone-Schwarzenegger- VanDamme trio, and surprisingly there are no permanent beefcakes who can readily step into and fill the void. Wahlberg has been slowly inching his way in my opinion, though Marky Mark's filmography of The Italian Job, the Planet of the Apes remake, The Perfect Storm and the more recent Four Brothers, do suggest that more should be done to cement this status, hence Shooter. I can't wait for his Brazilian Job to hit the screens, though that one plays more like an Ocean's Eleven rather than the individual one-man-saves-the-world action hero type. The Departed was a vulgar bit role, so that doesn't count.
Antoine Fuqua is no stranger to directing action movies, or movies with the hero caught up against unfair odds. From Training Day to Tears of the Sun, you can see earlier influences creep their way into Shooter, making it a little familiar territory visited. There are many sweeping shots used to try and epic-ize the movie, and set action sequences take priority, reducing character development to the token time available between scenes, and sometimes at the expense of plausibility.
The supporting cast was fun to watch, as Michael Pena (World Trade Center, Crash) almost stole the show with his rookie FBI character being caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time, and almost against his training, wishes and protocol, forms and becomes an important ally for Wahlberg's Swagger. The woman folk however get relegated to backseat roles, as per the usual Fuqua movies with Eva Mendes, Keira Knightley and Monica Belluci. Don't expect Kate Mara or Rhona Mitra to do much. As for the rest, they are your token cardboard characters, there to chew the scene.
Shooter is an action fan's fodder, and it is nothing more than a guilt trip watching a cowboy of a hero mopping up the town's scum, exactly in the way we like to see justice served - without remorse, exacting, and served extremely cold. A satisfying actioner with the usual thrills and spills.
finally, a movie in theaters WORTH seeing!!!! i just saw "Shooter" and i was thoroughly entertained. the plot kept me intrigued from beginning to end. mark wahlberg is fantastic... he's like a modern day McGuyver, but better looking and more sarcastic. his character is cunning and smart. wahlberg excels in playing characters who are determined to make an impact. i'm not a huge fan of action movies, but this movie was so packed with plot that i just kept moving along with it. i bet most of the naysayers of the film are going to be people who believe every word their government tells them. yes, this film depicts government officials in a bad light, but what or who doesn't? i'm sure in reality it's much worse. don't let political beliefs interfer with seeing this film... it's a good time no matter what side you are on. the screenplay was well-written, excluding ONE, minute one-liner about anna nicole smith marrying for love which was obviously written before her death. (plus the story takes place in 1997 anyway!!) other than that detail, viewers should have no complaints with this film. it's intense but not overbearing. easy to follow but complex. and you'll be impressed with wahlberg's character... go see for yourself!!
I was quite skeptical at watching the film, and didn't even get around
to watching it until just last night(5/13/08), well over a year after
it came out. What I saw was a pretty good political analysis as to what
the major cover ups are and the cause of this Imperialist oil war.
Yes, they do sprinkle a big ole plop of conspiracy theory, notably burying the snipers who did JFK in the desert. The line, "I still have the shovel" was quite amusing. Yes, the protagonist is a superman with the penchant for arriving in the nick of time and the ability to kill everyone. Chuck Norris isn't as bad as this guy.
What I found to be impressive though was that the movie placed the blame on a consortium of haves. It did not narrowly define exactly who the enemy is, so much as allow for a broader condemnation of capitalism and imperialism. The FBI agent sympathetic to the hero even goes so far as to wear a Che t-shirt.
So, when the aptly named Swagger tells Sarah Fenn, his buddies ex-wife, that the reason he took on the mission was because he fell for patriotism, we are given a quick condemnation of the flag waving jingoism that the US is trying to use to recruit young people for their imperialist wars. The WMD's are brought up, and are quite resonant in the context of a system without morality and only haves and have-nots.
I was impressed with the film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It has always been one of the great mistakes of militaries around the world, to recruit the best young men and train them to kill ruthlessly. Some become so proficient at their task, as to glean the admiration of ambitious and callous individuals who will then use these human weapons for any purpose necessary. For the film student, this scenario is not new, but has become a repeatable staple for movie directors whenever they need intrigue, drama and action. The list of films who's name resembles, " Marksman, Sniper, Assassin, Killer, Agent, Mercenary, Machanic, Sanction or just plain Liquidator." is as long as your arm. The only difference here is the title has been shorten to "Shooter." In this story our hero, Bob Swagger (Mark Wahlberg) is an Ex-Iraq era Marine sniper, now retired and reputed to be the very best at his art is once again recruited to serve his country. A very sincere military Officer, Colonel Isaac Johnson (Danny Glover) convinces him to help protect the President of the United States. Convinced, Swagger details the 'where and how' to the Colonel and his men, only to discover, they are not what they appear and the Marine finds himself the target. On the run, he must now evade a nationwide manhunt, clear his name and find the truth behind the deception. Along the way, he discovers an ally in a rookie F.B.I. agent named Nick Memphis (Michael Peña) who also becomes a wanted fugitive. Based on the novel by Steven Hunter the fast action film includes notable Ned Beatty and Elias Koteas as Jack Payne. If you're looking for action, drama and a plausible movie for the times, you've found one. ****
I watched this film, expecting to be let down. However it really did tick most of the boxes for me. I found it engaging and entertaining all the way through, for me a film where you want to watch through to the end because you WANT to watch, not out of a masochistic urge to "find out what happens". Mark Wahlbergs performance was top notch. Although there are a few "no chance" moments in the film as there always are with these type of films, the majority of it was for me within the realms of possibility. The soundtrack was also excellent and melded well with the action on screen. Both myself and my Fiancée enjoyed this film greatly. I can't really think of any negatives for this film and can only recommend it.
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