Shooter (2007) Poster

(I) (2007)

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8/10
Recipe for a fantastic, intelligent action film
Surecure13 March 2007
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
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10/10
Surprisingly Good!
Chris Brookes21 June 2011
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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8/10
Engaging, worth seeing.
StevenAWebb13 March 2007
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.
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10/10
Amazing
thecrow2224 March 2007
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 any cost.

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.
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10/10
Very good at illustrating the systemic aspects of Imperialism
hitchikingalaxy14 May 2008
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.
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8/10
Wahlberg may be next Bruce Willis
jpanyard23 March 2007
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.
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8/10
Still Invincible
ThatMonkey23 March 2007
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.

Solid film!
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8/10
A Nutshell Review: Shooter
DICK STEEL5 April 2007
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.
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8/10
Entertaining action film with controversial viewpoints
johnslegers17 September 2009
Although not accurate all the way, this film is one of the more realistic action thrillers I've seen. It's one of the few films where the main character actually spends a lot of time taking care of just two gun shot wounds (without vital organs being hit), one of the few films that puts governmental corruption in a more or less correct perspective, one of the few films where the lone hero needs a sidekick to help him with the planning, etc. On top of that, the film is entertaining from beginning to end and character motives are believable.

But then again.... this film is not for everyone. Left wing supporters are likely to be offended by its pro-gun message. American right wing supporters are likely to be offended by the strong anti-US government viewpoints clearly expressed in this film. Pro-constitution anti-federal government paleoconservatives and right wingers outside of the US without an in depth knowledge of sniper rifles are probably the only ones to enjoy this film to the fullest. And boy oh boy, how little are they in number... which probably explains why this film did not become the blockbuster hit it could have been.
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8/10
Wahlberg is a modern day McGuyver... but better looking.
miss jena24 March 2007
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!!
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8/10
" This is Serious, . . . They Killed My Dog "
thinker169128 August 2007
Warning: 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. ****
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4/10
Directionless, without substance, story and soul
chrisklecker16 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Shooter is the essence of a soulless movie bent on nothing more than pushing the horrific profession of a "sniper" onto the audience to illustrate just how incredible an assassin they make. You have an interesting plot line from the start, "two snipers caught in a domestic and international war with no rules", however the movie soon turns into a biased anti-government knockoff that is bent on showing conspiracies and crooked politicians.

Mark Wahlberg plays Bob Lee Swagger, a ex-sniper special forces operative who just lost his friend/partner during a mission in Ethiopia. He retreats to the mountains and is approached by Danny Glover (Col. Issac Johnson) to tell them how a sniper could hit the President so they could stop a potential sniper they think is about to assassinate the president. Bob agrees, gets double-crossed, finds Pena (FBI agent Nick Memphis) tells him he's innocent and runs off ala John Rambo to seek revenge on those who wronged him.

The first five minutes are actually not bad, but then the movie goes downhill fast and when Michael Pena makes his first appearance. One must question what the director is thinking as Pena kicks the dirt in a rather poor attempt to be a "rookie, no-brains" FBI agent who later turns out to be an easily trained army commando.

The bottom line is Shooter was marred from the start. No real direction with the plot, no clear message, and a complete mis-use of some big name actors that have already proved they were excellent actors before starring in this sorry excuse for a movie. What is more interesting is what some new-comers to movies would think of these actors if Shooter was the first movie they saw, never realizing that's Ned Beatty from Deliverance, that's Danny Glover with one hell of a portfolio, and Mark Walhberg from The Departed and The Perfect Storm and last but definitely not least Michael Pena from Training Day. All of these actors have more talent than Shooter can provide and it's pathetic having to watch them squirm through the shallow plot line and cheesy dialog. I actually cringed when Ned Beatty shouts to Mark, "I'm a US Senator".

Shooter fails in more ways than one. The only thing it doesn't fail at is being somewhat of a no-brainer popcorn entertainment which is even debatable for me. In my humble opinion if you want a sniper movie with more intelligence, better dialog and solid plot, watch Sniper with Tom Berenger and Billy Zane.
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6/10
well-worn storyline with some refreshing elements
Roland E. Zwick1 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Though little more than a strung-together collection of man-on-the-run, action movie clichés, "Shooter" provides a veritable feast for conspiracy-theory paranoiacs and a decent enough time at the movies for the rest of us.

Mark Wahlberg plays Bob Lee Swagger, an embittered ex-marine gunnery sergeant who's been living a hermitlike existence ever since he and his sharpshooter buddy were left to perish on an Ethiopian hillside by the American forces that had sent them on the mission in the first place. After three years holed up in the wilderness of Wyoming with no one but his devoted pooch to keep him company, Swagger is coaxed out of retirement by the FBI to help foil a planned assassination of the President of the United States. When Swagger discovers at the last minute that he is actually being set up as the fall guy for the killing, he barely escapes with his life and spends the rest of the movie dodging the authorities while attempting to clear his name and bring the true culprits to justice.

Wahlberg, all brooding stoicism and macho-man swagger (pardon the pun), continues his run of tough guy roles in this film, though one wishes he would return to the more nuanced, multi-layered portrayals he managed to put forth in movies like "Boogie Nights" and "Three Kings." As the woman who befriends Swagger, the attractive and talented Kate Mara has considerably more screen time in this film than she did in "Brokeback Mountain," but far less worthy material to work with. The most compelling performance is by Michael Pena as the low-level FBI agent who believes Swagger is innocent of the crime and who winds up joining forces with Swagger to uncover the conspiracy. The Average Joe demeanor that Pena brings to the character provides a proper counterbalance to Wahlberg's strutting self-confidence and superhuman athleticism. Danny Glover seems to be phoning in much of his performance here as the leader of the covert FBI cabal, and Ned Beatty does his best as a stereotypically smarmy senator who's up to his ears in venality and corruption.

The plot often doesn't make a whole lot of sense, and it is easy for a layperson to get lost in all the arcane machinations that come flying fast and loose off the screen. Still, the screenplay does a nice job fitting the pieces of its puzzle together, merging the two story lines that run along parallel tracks for the first half into a unified whole at about the midway point. The action scenes are strikingly well done, even though they often sacrifice verisimilitude and plausibility for mass explosions and preposterously lopsided gun battles.

The movie makes a lot of grand speeches at the end about governmental corruption and what it truly means to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave, but "Shooter" is designed to be a generic thriller not a big-think social drama. And, on those terms only, the movie succeeds more often than it fails.
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1/10
Pathetic... Simply Pathetic
cptn-beeble25 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
*BEWARE OF SPOILERS* _ _ I had the misfortune to see this with my brother, and had to fight the overwhelming urge to just cut and run like the commanders did on Bob Lee in the beginning of this film... or like Mark's sense apparently did when he took the role. From horrible scripting to absurd situations and a gaggle of gratuitous explosions, this film tanked from the beginning. I was misled to think that this was a film setting of the book "The Shooter" but in fact, it wasn't, it so very much was not. The first thing I laughed at (that wasn't part of the AMAZING wit built into the script) was this amazingly pointless scene of at least 30 seconds of watching Marky Mark put on sunglasses and stroll away in slow motion from an equally pointless interchange with Danny Glover. Apparently Antoine Fuqua has a little fetish for the way Mr Wahlberg walks... Also, what is up with Danny Glovers mouth, it sounded like he had braces or throat cancer, or both, all he could manage was this whispering, cotton-mouthed mumbling, weird! But from there we get things like that the bad-guy fat-ass cop that is the first guy to run after and catch up to Gunny(jeeez!!), a veteran scout sniper , followed by scenes involving no less than 15 black helicopters swarming over Philadelphia, 2 obnoxious 'field medic' type scenes, a really super car chase, random nipple shots from one of the two 'babes', more bullets, techno-babble, and squibs than I can count, an evil Russian in a wheelchair, and then some more scenes with helicopters... the list goes on and on. All this culminates in about three different endings and a final scene with all the bad guys drinking cocktails and laughing evilly at the sheer magnitude of their malevolence... The story was shallow and aimless, the script was pitiful, the acting was sub-par (except Pena, kudos on not being as crappy) And worst of all, it took itself seriously. The only thing this movie was missing was Joe Don Baker, but, hey, at least we had Ned Beatty. As Nick Memphis so accurately put it 'This is Ridiculous!'
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5/10
Stuff Gits Blowed Up Real Good
Andresen25 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Shooter is a movie where Stuff Gits Blowed Up Real Good. If you're in the mood for a b-grade action flick where stuff gits blowed up and the cartoon character bad guys git their heads blowed off, this one is passable. You could find a better mindless action flick, but this one will do in a pinch.

Unfortunately, Shooter is filled with clumsy, ham-handed attempts to be politically relevant. The film takes the bold political stance that it's wrong to kill an entire village filled with men women and children for personal gain. It goes way out on a limb and says that one should never assassinate the Archbishop of Etheopia. But the absolute worst crime imaginable is to kill a man's dog. Heads will roll. Literally.

The Evil Shadow Government Conspiracy is, of course, Republican. Really Republican. So Republican that they have portraits of every single Republican president in history proudly displayed on the walls of Evil Shadow Government Conspiracy Headquarters. Everywhere you look, George HW Bush or Ronald Reagan or Herbert Hoover or Teddy Roosevelt is watching your every move. Even William Howard Taft glares contemptuously from On High. Of course the Mister Big Evil Puppetmaster gives lip service to the notion that the Evil Shadow Government Conspiracy is neither Republican nor Democrat, but come on. William Howard Freaking Taft? Who's kidding whom?

In this movie, Marky Mark is accused of a crime he didn't commit. To exonerate himself, he commits hundreds of other crimes which ought to be worth a few thousand years in jail, but which instead earn him a wink wink nudge nudge from the Attorney General of the United States. After all, they did kill his dog.

Marky Mark plots a Presidential Assassination. He steals trucks. He assaults law enforcement officials. He causes dozens of automobile accidents. He resists arrest. He blows stuff up. He practices medicine without a license. He points a loaded high-powered weapon at the Attorney General of the United States. He destroys a government helicopter. He manufactures and detonates high explosive weapons. He accesses top secret government files. He destroys several expensive houses. He kills dozens of hapless dupes of the Evil Shadow Government Conspriacy. Even though he himself was once a hapless dupe of the Evil Shadow Government Conspiracy, and for all he knows the people he killed are hardworking joes with girlfriends in medical school and lovable furry dogs at home. All of this is BEFORE he murders a sitting US Senator, the Senator's chief of staff and several key assistants.

Marky Mark's accomplices are no better. An FBI guy goes AWOL and blows up more than his share of stuff and kills a fair number of bodyguards. The girlfriend pumps three bullets into the chest of an unarmed man. Literally. His arm was three feet away from the rest of his body. Why the FBI guy and Miss Thang aren't in orange jumpsuits by the end of the film is beyond me.

And how these people get a personal audience with the Attorney General is incomprehensible. If you were accused of being, say, the Unabomber, could you arrange a pow-wow with the USAG? Oh, and by the way, bring the weapon you confiscated from the assassination scene.

The kicker? All of Marky Mark's illegal activity is justified because the Evil Shadow Government Conspiracy acted UNCONSTITUTIONALLY, even though the Attorney General of The United States can't think of a single crime with which to charge anyone. The next time you're making a few bucks on the side pulling guard duty and a 1980's rap star sticks a knife in your throat so he can blow up your friends with home-made explosives, you'll be comforted to know that the guy who killed you was protecting the Constitution. And avenging his dog.

I could go on, but any attempt to make sense of this picture's muddled attempt at political relevance can only kill brain cells. Like I said, this is a movie where Stuff Gits Blowed Up Real Good. If you can enjoy it strictly on that level, you'll survive the experience.
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2/10
super flawed
omytion16 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
When you have crafted films in the same vein there is simply no reason to allow huge gaffs to appear. The Bourne series so far has the 'violent hero struggling to survive in a web of intrigue and deception' covered without the glaring mistakes that make The Shooter an embarrassment to watch. Gunshot wounds and torture wounds that disappear; an inability to remember a simple license plate number without resorting to a mobile phone camera, a self-healing process utterly devoid of any medical basis whatsoever and-laughably- apparently the requirement to include the Coriolis effect in a sniper's calculations. "Sure I'll sign up for anything without even needing to see ID or do some background checks". I appreciate the editor probably had their work cut out for them dealing with this rubbish but the continuity was shockingly bad. And as for the ending? Utter garbage. Marky running around in a ridiculous white chicken suit was the highlight. If the director added a couple of "L"s to his surname it would make more sense.

So many glowing reviews for this dire bilge are a good answer to why they keep churning out such rubbish. Watch Bourne instead. 2 points for the poor editor making the best of a bad job.
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1/10
Stephen Hunter fans will hate it
gore_loses_200416 April 2007
I was eager to see this movie because I'm a fan of Stephen Hunter's books about Bob Lee Swagger, but I was quite disappointed after seeing it.

Fans of mindless action might like it, but people who've read "Point of Impact" will not.

First, it strays from the book. I know this is necessary in movies, but there were important details in the book that didn't need to be changed, but were anyway.

Second, it contains a lot of Bush-bashing. OK, we get it, Hollywood doesn't like Bush. Enough, already.

Third, the ending is very UNcharacteristic of Hunter's Bob "The Nailer". I can't believe he allowed his name to be in the credits.

Most importantly, there's absolutely no character development. I realize if they stayed true to the book the movie would be so long it'd be unwatchable, but this was ridiculous. Even people who liked the movie wonder why certain plot points happened.

It's as if they tried to cram too much of the various plots in the book into the movie to satisfy the "Point of Impact" fans, but had to change it around and edit the hell out of it to satisfy the average action movie fan. They ended up failing on both fronts.

Except for Ned Beatty, all the primary characters were totally mis-cast. Danny Glover has got to be the worst actor in America still getting work.

If you can't make a movie based on a book the right way, you shouldn't do it at all.
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7/10
Honour. Duty. Betrayal. Cliché.
Mike Keating3 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Shooter opens with Swagger (Wahlberg) in the middle of a failing black-op in Ethiopia. His spotter is killed, and he's left for dead by the agency that sent him in, leaving him to somehow escape the situation on his own. Cut to 3 years later, and Marky Mark is set up in a ranch in the snowy mountains in a remote location, sporting an awful haircut, and owning perhaps the best dog in the world. His reclusive existence is interrupted by Colonel Johnson (Glover), who arrives with a mysterious offer that he just can't refuse...

It sounds a bit...obvious, doesn't it? For a man who's been betrayed by his government once before, Wahlberg falls for Glover's dubious plan a little too easily. And it doesn't even seem like he's trying to conceal the duplicitous nature of the operation. Glover plays his role like Nosferatu in a suit; I half expected him to bite into Wahlberg's neck, although he obviously couldn't find the time in between his evil-caricature gestures and husky whispering. Taking the bait, Swagger sets himself up for quite a fall, and, luckily for us, quite an enjoyable film. Cue the government conspiracy and the one-man-killing-machine's mission to reveal the truth...

During his quest to clear his name, Wahlberg finds allies in the form of rookie FBI Agent Nick Memphis (well played by Michael Pena) and his former spotters' girlfriend Sarah, played by Kate Mara, and these two partnerships affect the film in quite different ways. When Swagger is teamed up with Memphis, Shooter plays out like an action-heavy buddy movie, but when Swagger's placed in the care of Sarah and the movie's romantic dramatic sub-plot is gestured at, it slows down awkwardly. We know Marky Mark has to recover from his bullet-wounds somewhere, but perhaps it could have been the recovery that was suggested instead of the awkward forbidden romance scenes that this pairing generates. The rest of the supporting cast are generally good, although a special mention should go to Elias Koteas for his role as Glover's oversexed supervillain henchman, who provides a great deal of sex-fiend-caricature entertainment. That being said, Wahlberg's presence is missed and the film appears to jar awkwardly and slow down without him. Without his moral outrage and willingness to shoot his way through his problems, the movie loses its momentum. While it handles similar issues to the Bourne franchise (government hunter becomes hunted) and attempts to make the same sort of contemporary political statements, Shooter doesn't quite have the same sort of grittiness. Instead, its polished look, complete with lush landscapes and Fuqua's sun-soaked direction, seems to nod continuously in the direction of Michael Bay. However, that's not a bad thing. The movie is very set-piece oriented, and Swagger's gung-ho approach keeps things moving forward at a relatively exciting pace.

The only problem is that it never really seems like Swagger's in any real danger, despite the fact that he's being chased by pretty much every law enforcement agency in America (social comment, perhaps?). This makes the film quite predictable, its sequences and dialogue clichéd, and its conclusion pretty much an obvious inevitability, but if you just sit back and accept it for what it is, you'll find Shooter an enjoyable, action-packed movie that's worth a look.
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10/10
Shooter puts you in the shoes of a sniper
Warning: Spoilers
(My Synopsis) Bob Lee Swagger (Mark Wahlberg), a former Marine scout sniper who had the ability to hit a target from a mile away, leaves the Corps after a mission goes terribly wrong. Swagger has become a cynical American Marine who believes that he was betrayed by his country. What Swagger didn't know was that he was on a secret mission working for a black-ops government organization with their own agenda about what America really needs. Swagger is contacted by retired Colonel Isaac Johnson (Danny Glover), who tells him that his country needs his special knowledge and expert skills as a sniper to stop an assassination attempt on the President. Swagger doesn't want to work for these guys,but his patriotism for his country makes him do it. Unfortunately, for Swagger this is the same black-ops group that left him for dead before. And as usual, they set him up and double-cross him again. Now the whole country thinks he was the one who tried to kill the President. To prove his innocence, Swagger must find these people and learn the truth and take out his own revenge.

(My Comment) The film actually puts you in the shoes of a sniper under fire and shows how good he has to be not only as a marksman, but also in the face of danger. The movie doesn't pull any punches when he kills his targets from his long range position. The whole film is exciting and will keep you wondering what is going to happen next. There are several twists and turns on the conspiracy that seem plausible. However, I don't think the writers should have used oil as the old stand by as the reason for the mission. The movie was meant to entertain the audience, and it accomplished its mission. The two hours went by so fast, you will not even notice. There are some things that are hard to believe, but it is only a movie. Enjoy the thrilling action packed sequences and the beautiful scenery. The special effects are spectacular and awesome. (Paramount Pictures, Run time 2:04, Rated R)(10/10)
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2/10
Masturbatory, gun-obsessed and predictable
Archie Wah Wah23 November 2012
In a world where the shots are called by sadistic, cynical and frankly eager killers there is only one man who can save us all - a sadistic, cynical and frankly eager killer.

Quite rightly left to die after a mission in friendly territory killing innocent people, our hero Mark Wahlberg (played by Marky Mark) goes into seclusion, only to be coaxed out again when the President's life appears to be in danger. All is not as it seems though, and soon our killer is on the run, accused of being a killer. Only he can hunt down and kill-from-a-distance-by-shooting-in-the-back the real killers.

This movie is a string of clichés to the backdrop of gun-obsession that appears to be marketed at backwater, macho, pick-up riding men's men. At one point my partner and I spontaneously laughed out loud when we were subjected, at an inappropriate moment, to 15 seconds of Wahlberg walking ridiculously towards the camera in slow motion, a giant US flag as his background - A scene which highlights the general masturbatory tone.

Both dialogue and action are hammy and unrealistic at best. For example, Marky Mark turns up at the house of a woman he doesn't really know. Shirtless and injured, he explains in graphic detail how she has to cut into his wounds and stitch him up, before sucking on an aerosol and passing out. Only in an ill-thought out, macho fantasy world would this woman silently take on such a burden of a known assassin without politely telling him to "f@*& off" or at least phoning the police while he was asleep. The movie continues in this vein, and the underlying philosophy seems to be that what we need in this world is a man who's really good at shooting and prepared to murder from afar anyone whom he thinks is bad, or anyone who hangs out with them.

If you want action, find a film like "Taken" or the Bond films, where at least the characters have some complexity and drive. Even the fight scenes of this movie are boring.
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2/10
What Happened? It started out so well......................
toytrainbob9 April 2007
I knew nothing of this film in advance other than it starred Mark Wahlberg. I was surprised how good it started out and set in Philadelphia, too!!! Although the action was violent and graphic, it had an energy and flow that was mesmerizing. This was going to be a good night. This film would be special and as good as the Bourne movies. The characters were developed well, Wahlberg's unique style and quirkiness was coming through, perhaps the next Bruce Willis. I cared about these characters. The quality of the filming was top notch, the angles excellent, often the film was vivid. The story was humming along, an assassination conspiracy slowly developing and unraveling. Then just beyond the half way point the movie crashed. BANG. The plot line made little sense, a tiresome anti-American film. Ho Hum. Over acting and over reaching by Ned Beatty and Danny Glover. Beatty a cartoon character, and Glover so over the top and implausible in any position of authority my head started to throb. What did they do? They ruined a film with such promise and destroyed it with a half baked story line that just appeared to take shots at the government. Where was the press? Want country are we in? The FBI is the Keystone Kops? Death to any intrigue. All believability gone.......a night ruined. A shame too, and almost criminal, because it had such a strong start, such a solid feel to it. To be reduced to the keystone cops with evil men so shallow no one could take them seriously. Oh, there may indeed be evil men in our government, but Glover's character would not have lasted one week. I love Ned Beatty, I hate his performance. If he wants to do a caricature of a powerful clandestine operative, then do a sequel to Hopscotch and make it a comedy. And the final scene was so dreadful, so implausible, that is was the perfect ending to this miserable failure of a film.
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1/10
Plagiarisms Abound!
njmollo17 September 2007
There is not one part of the Shooter you haven't seen before and done considerably better. It borrows so liberally from past espionage action movies that it sometimes feels as if you've seen this film before.

The Direction is pedestrian at best. The opening establishing shots are done using cheesy CGI. If the Director can't do a simple establishing shot of countryside without having to resort to Computer Generated Effects it doesn't really say much about his talent does it?

The actors seem to have a major problem with diction. I had to use the English Subtitles! Mark Wahlberg speed-reads his lines at such a rate that all the exposition is lost and Danny Glover has suddenly developed a disturbing speech impediment.

Of course all the girls are hot. A lonely window living in a dump turns out to be hot and without a boyfriend! The under used Rhona Mitra is a hard-nosed F.B.I. agent and she is extremely hot. Hollywood stereotypes abound!

With such a lack of originally this film is actually quite boring. If you want a good intelligent action film then watch "Three Days of the Condor" or "Blood Diamond".
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3/10
Standard Issue
mcgredo24 March 2007
Standard issue action flick. Huge government conspiracy: check. Fireballs in the background frame the protagonist as he walks away without turning around: check. Slimy, over-acting henchmen: check. Crooked senator: check. Gigantic plot holes that move you to the next shootout: check.

All the usual tropes, including the standard-issue anti-American stuff. They even used the standard shot of a Reagan portrait on the wall of the evil cabal's lair. Reagan hasn't been president for neigh-on 20 years, but the shot is still trotted out to prove what a deep thinker the director is.

I was hoping for more technical shooting descriptions as Swagger prepares his equipment and shots, but it's mostly just trigger pulling.

Some nice outdoor scenery.
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5/10
The Good & Bad Of 'Shooter'
ccthemovieman-130 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
THE GOOD - What a great start! The first half hour of this is outstanding and the first hour very good. It looks like, as advertised, that if you enjoyed the "Bourne" movies ("The Bourne Identity" and "The Bourne Supremacy") you should like this and that was the case with me.....for the first hour. Mark Walhber's "Bob Lee Swagger" is a likable hero, a good guy in every sense. Yes, he's macho, intelligent, a thoughtful, patriotic guy, etc.. The scenes where he is eluding everyone in Philadelphia in what would be an impossible dragnet lack a little credibility but they sure are fun to watch.

The first half included an interesting study on what it takes to be a good "sniper." It also had good photography and I especially liked the overhead shots of Philadelphia. The chase scenes were fun to watch, too. Near the end, the white sniper camouflage outfit Walhberg was wearing in Montana was really cool.

THE BAD - Who wrote this script? Oliver Stone? Michael Moore? The DNC? I couldn't believe all the politics - all the Liberal conspiracies and the anti-Bush Administration comments - in the last hour of this movie. First, this extreme paranoid view that everyone in the government is corrupt is vastly overworked by Hollywood and this movie is the topper where they aren't even subtle about these crackpot theories. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you! Filmmakers make literally millions of dollars in this country and do nothing but bash the government. It's really worked to death in this film, more than the Bourne stories. To what extremes film writers go, just check out Elias Koteas' portrayal of government agent in here, and you get my drift. No guy in that position would act like that.

The Oliver Stone-like politics come into play big-time when Swagger meets this old guy in Tennessee who espouses every Liberal conspiracy theory that Stone likes to dish out. They still are trying to pass on all the conspiracy theories on the JFK assassination. That, and a not-so-subtle dig at WMDs, President Bush's comments why we are in Iraq, the Secretary of Defense supposedly being a liar and other negative opinions connected with the Iraq War, just keep coming after that. It's unrelenting.

They turn a decent action thriller into one big Left Wing propaganda piece. They didn't do that in the Bourne movies, but they sure spew out their political venom in here.

That's bad enough but the Rambo-mentality was an insult to all viewers, regardless of political persuasion. There had to be at least 50 trained army guys storming a house with our hero in it, along with his FBI friend, and all 50 guys are killed and the two "good guys" don't even get a scratch?! Then, a helicopter arrives with more guys shooting at them, and Swagger kills all of them, too! This is embarrassingly moronic.

OVERALL - After a great first hour, this movie dumbed down so badly in the second half that it just left me shaking my head in disbelief! How a film can be so entertaining and somewhat intelligent and go down the dumper so fast and be so stupid in the second half is staggering. It winds up being a "coulda, shoulda" movie in which we just lament how good this should have been, but wasn't
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1/10
Terrible
aune-alenius15 June 2007
What can I say. A patriot who know how to kill people, a nice girl with big breast(a soon to be hostage), conspiracy..... This movie just tells me the fact that Hollywood has some serious problems with telling good stories. Everything in this movie is presented to me like if I was an idiot. But I am because I watch it.. The problem with Hollywood is that the can't release them self from the formula. The formula is of course what people want. This movie is a TYPICAL example of that. It's so full of clichés that I don't know where to begin. In the beginning of the movie you will see a scene when the main character is living alone in the wild(Rambo in Canada?). The Hollywood directors really want you to get this so they dresses him i redneck clothes drinking beer(with his dog) and a lot of mountains. And when the girl with the breasts start acting nurse later on I realize(in despair) that I already seen half of the movie and I cant turn back. They could not even let the bad guys be killed by someone else than the main character. These days I rather check out HBO or the Asian movies to get amused. This really sucks. Please, don't waste your time. Jens Alenius
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