Sniper (1993) was a relatively entertaining, but minor and fairly unmemorable picture that has inexplicably spawned six sequels. In the pantheon of unnecessary franchises, the Sniper series is right up there. Nearly all of the previous entries, since the original, have been disappointing affairs even while featuring series’ regulars Tom Berenger and Billy Zane, both of whom return for Sniper: Ultimate Kill which is subtitled to distract from the fact that this is part 7. Luckily, special effects wizard turned director, Claudio Fäh, knows how to stage and shoot a film of this size and his steady hand is instrumental in making this the best Sniper film since the first, nearly 25 years ago.
Colombian cartel kingpin Jesús Morales employs a mercenary sniper dubbed “El Diablo,” to kill his competition and anyone else that may present themselves as a problem. Now, with virtually no obstacles left, Morales decides to expand his illicit operations into the United States. DEA agent Kate Estrada (Danay Garcia), who has been tracking Morales’ moves for years, and Marine sniper Brandon Beckett (Chad Michael Collins) are assigned to work together and sent to Colombia. Their objective: Establish the identity of “El Diablo” and terminate with extreme prejudice, and retrieve Morales to stand in a US court for his crimes.
The Sniper movies are an interesting study. The first trilogy has little correlation to the Quadrilogy featuring the Beckett character. Sure, Beckett is the heir to Bergener’s character from the first three entries, but the series has now become an ongoing soap opera, with shades of the Karate Kid, when looking at the relationship between Brandon and Richard Miller (Billy Zane). These films must do reasonably well on the direct-to-DVD market, enough so to justify their existence. Every once in a while a sturdy B-movie like Sniper: Ultimate Kill surprises with its level of craftsmanship and audience involvement. Sniper: Ultimate kill provides visual thrills and a solid night of escapist second tier cinema.
Director: Claudio Fäh
Stars: Danay Garcia, Chad Michael Collins, Billy Zane