Shooter (2007) – Review

3 Stars

Shooter is one of the most absurdly plotted films to come along in quite sometime. Based on an original novel by film critic Stephen Hunter, the film adaptation is Rambo and The Fugitive mixed with a touch of government conspiracy paranoia thriller. Mark Wahlberg is the hilariously named Bobby Lee Swagger, the good ‘ol country boy thing doesn’t suit this performer at all. In an obvious bid to create a franchise, Shooter has been honed into a violent revenge thriller with an actor that serves as a happy medium between Matt Damon and Arnold Schwarzenegger

Bobby Lee Swagger is a Marine sniper, capable of hitting a moving target from a mile away. On assignment in Africa his mission goes awry, Swagger and his Spotter are left stranded behind enemy lines. Betrayed by their government and treated as expendable assets, Swagger somehow survives the ordeal while his partner is killed during an air raid.

Three years later Swagger is a bitter hermit who lives in remote isolation in a log cabin deep in the mountains. His solitude is disrupted when Colonel Johnson (Danny Glover) pays him a visit and informs the one-time hero that an attempt to assassinate the president is being plotted. The agency needs Swagger to form a mock-plan of action, in hopes that the actual shooter will use the same locations and methods.

Unbeknownst to Bobby Lee Swagger is that he is being set-up as the patsy for the death of a foreign official also attending the president’s speech. Defying death and capture once more, Swagger fleas the scene and disarms a young FBI agent (Michael Peña), all the while proclaiming his innocence.

Shooter has been skillfully directed by Antoine Fuqua and features three exciting action-set-pieces. Wahlberg is ok here, as is Michael Pena. The screenplay is just so ridiculous that at certain points we are asked to believe that a FBI field agent could outfox trained marines in a firefight. Inconsistencies like these aren’t to be lamented in action films. Shooter misses the mark from being truly memorable, (like the similarly themed The Hunted) and instead settles for disposable entertainment. On those terms it’s a success.

Director: Antoine Fuqua
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Michael Peña, Kate Mara

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