Monday, April 23, 2007


Posted by lea at 2:15 PM
In Shooter, Mark Wahlberg plays a military sniper for the U.S. army who gets played for a fool, is scapegoated for an attempted presidential assassination and ends up wanted for annihilation by the FBI. On the run, he wants revenge, justice, honour and all the other good words that get your blood going. He’s a skilful military man thrown in the hot seat and now on the run from the government he tried to protect. Throw in a buxom love interest, some powerful bad guys (senators and other Washington heavies), one good guy who believes his story and guns - lots of guns - and what you get is a pretty decent 2 hours of cinematic escapism that doesn’t strain the brain and occupies you with a lot of eye candy.

But don’t expect anything too clever – like a plot with any sort of depth. In this movie, what you see is what you get. There is no subtlety. From the moment that his best buddy shows us a pic of his wife/girlfriend back home in Kentucky (or some other Southern state), you just KNOW he’s gonna be blown apart. And it happens maybe 30 seconds later. The FBI agent that Wahlberg disarms while running away is shown in lingering detail afterwards so you just KNOW he’s going to be important to the plot later. And of course, he is. There are clunky plot reveals and foreshadowing dropped like a granny’s loose drawers throughout the movie, but on the plus-side, it’s never boring. you just have to get through the camera’s Mark Wahlberg-worship without groaning too much. He takes bullets, fights hordes of bad guys single-handedly and undertakes every single clichéd hero-shot ever created since the invention of celluloid: the mountain top conqueror, walking out of explosions with a halo of smoke and fire, tending to bullet wounds while wincing in understated masculine pain… you get my drift.

Ironically, the movie propagates a big-bad-America political view while simultaneously putting the U.S. on its usual Hollywood pedestal. Greedy senators: bad. Patriotic underdog: good. The plot never delves deeply enough to feel for the victims of the government’s tyranny (the good victimised people of Africa, who have provided so much fodder for Hollywood moviemakers of late), and vigilante justice is seen as the only way to stop the baddies, as the government’s hands are always bound by the powerful.

The good thing about Shooter is that it doesn't pretend to be anything other than a good action flick, and on that front it delivers. It’s not particularly clever, not complicated in any way and there are a lot of explosions. Otherwise, I wouldn't recommend it to any but the most hard-core Mark Wahlberg fans who want a bit of a perve.

Rating: 7/10
Bourne Identity does it better.


Anonymous said...

was that a nat pick???

lea on April 27, 2007 at 1:15 PM said...

actually it was a group pick, but he did concur. it's a good mindless flick for a lazy evening and apprently has the biggest explosion scene ever shot for a movie. is that enticing you yet?

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