Sunday, September 16, 2007
It was another rental weekend. I wouldn't have rented this one except it came with a recommendation, so I gave it a try.
Shooter is another "one man hero against the system" story in the Rambo vain. Our hero, Bob Lee Swagger, played by Mark Wahlberg (what is this obsession on three word names?) is an ex-marine sniper, and obviously, the best in the business (gee, I'm surprised). The story opens with our hero and his observer showing there stuff in an operation in Ethiopia, where his observer gets killed and he is abandoned by the "good guys". Next scene is 3 years later at his mountain home living with his beer fetching dawg, now retired Swagger is approached by retired Col. Isaac Johnson (Danny Glover) and his troop who convince Swagger that there will be an attempt on the life of the president by a sniper a a one mile range and only he can help them stop this before it happens. I mean, come on guys, this has fall guy written all over it! But, for the sake of a story, our hero falls for it and agrees to help.
Of course it is a set-up; of course they try to kill our hero; of course he gets wounded; of course he gets away; and of course our hero wants to uncover the plot and seek revenge. Standard plot mechanics, nothing new or original here. And because of his "super-hero" abilities, you know he will succeed showing off all his skills and waving the American flag all the way. If that's what you are looking for in this movie, you won't be disappointed, because that's what it is. A few original plot twists in the end and a lot of stupid moves on the part of our hero leaving you asking at the end of the movie "Why would he do that?", and then you realize that it is the excuse to have the action scenes, because if he "did the right things" (knowing what our hero knows all along, but they don't let us know until the end) there wouldn't be a story. So much for super-heroes.
On the positive side, Mark Wahlberg puts in a good performance and plays our hero straight and true. There is a decent supporting cast except I find Danny Glover unbelievable in his roll of a top guy, it just doesn't come off for me. I did like the small part veteran actor Ned Beatty played as Senator Meachum. He played the true arrogance of a man in his position.
So, if you want to see a Rambo style action film, this is it. If you want to see a plot twister that makes you think, you'd probably do better elsewhere. This movie is rated R. It has a bit of bad language, no sex other than Kate Mara in her underwear, no romance (other than maybe implied), and some blood, mostly due to the long range "head shots" that the sniper makes (this is the way they tell the audience that it's a kill). I was also disturbed by the sound quality. I had a lot of trouble understanding what was being said in a lot of instances and had to turn on the subtitles, but that might just be my audio setup. I give this movie a 7 out of 10.