Sunday, February 9, 2014


Directed by Antoine Fuqua.
2007. Rated R, 125 minutes.
Rhona Mitra
Tate Donovan
Elias Koteas
Justin Louis
Rade Serbedzija

Bob Lee Swagger (Wahlberg), what a name, is a former military sniper who was part of one of those missions that can't be confirmed nor denied. Rather salty about how the whole thing went down, he's now become a bearded recluse living in the mountains with just his dog. One day, the government comes calling, in the form of Colonel Isaac Johnson (Glover). The colonel says he has reliable intel that an attempt will be made on the President's life during an upcoming speech and that the shot will be fired from an incredible distance. Since our hero is the only one known to have made such a long shot, they are asking his help in figuring out how and from where the deed could be done in order to prevent it from happening. One thing leads to another and before you know it, Bob Lee winds up with a couple bullets in him and is on the run from the authorities.

This is a movie built on the cat-and-mouse between Bob Lee and the colonel. It works pretty well as the two make formidable adversaries. Wahlberg gives us the scowling hero look which has served him nicely in the past. It does here, as well. Glover is really a slimy sort. He gives the most interesting performance in the film. I don't think he gets enough credit for playing bad guys. I've seen him give audiences a good one a few times. I guess it's tough to escape the long shadow he himself cast as half of the Lethal Weapon duo. Ned Beatty is also solid as a crooked politician. Meanwhile, Kate Mara does nice work as the girl who believes our hero.

Besides Glover, the standouts are Michael Pena and Rhona Mitra. Pena plays the rookie FBI agent who smells a rat and is determined to get to the bottom of things. Mitra is a fellow agent who slowly comes around to the right side of things. They have their own little cat-and-mouse going with the agency at large as they do their snooping from within the system. Neither is doing award-worthy work her, but they provide some nice interludes between the scenes involving our stars.

In all, Shooter is a passable flick. It's solid action fare that provides enough excitement and suspense for us to make it through no worse for the wear. The ending that's better than the rest of the movie may elevate it in some people's mind beyond what it likely deserves. It deserves to be thought of as decent, definitely worth a watch, but not something that really stands out.

MY SCORE: 6/10

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