Shooter Movie Review
Marky Mark was a badass in The Departed, and he plays a badass once again in Shooter, a political action movie with some heavy handed statements, bits of cheesy dialogue here and there, but a relatively smart story and lots of excitement.
Shooter follows Bob Lee Swagger (Wahlberg) as an ex-military sniper who is pulled out of retirement to help track down an assassin who is going to kill the President of the United States in two weeks. Unfortunately for him, the shot goes off, and he immediately becomes the prime suspect. As he flees from every federal agent and police officer in the country, he becomes aware that he is the victim of a massive conspiracy. He teams up with an FBI rookie (Michael Peña) and his ex-partner's hot widow (Kate Mara) to turn the tables on those who have wronged him and bring justice his own way.
First and foremost, Shooter is an action movie. And as such, it works wonderfully. The movie is exciting from beginning to end, full of shootings, explosions, car chases and more. Wahlberg is great in the lead, delivering a gruff but likable figure not unlike the Jason Bourne character from the Bourne movies. The movie itself is also a lot like The Bourne Supremacy, only not as smooth or intelligent. Nevertheless, you can certainly tell the movie wants to be like the Bourne films, as the action is very quick, very intense and to-the-point.
Shooter also tries to be smart, and while not without its flaws, it succeeds relatively well at doing so. The dialogue isn't the greatest, especially in the last 20 minutes, but the movie is complex enough to take it a notch above your standard action flick. The movie offers up a decent political conspiracy and enough layers to keep you a thinking just a little bit. At the same time, this is no writing masterpiece. The conspiracy is not without its holes, and the story never really comes together in a proper way at the end. You can tell the writers didn't quite know how to finish the movie, as the whole purpose of the assassination is never explained very well to begin with, nor is it wrapped up in a very satisfying way. Shooter is by no means idiotic, but it isn't nearly as smart as it thinks it is.
Nevertheless, Shooter is a more satisfying action movie than most, as it gives us a good enough story to keep us intrigued while offering plenty of action scenes and violence to satisfy even those who liked John Cena's The Marine. The movie does fall apart a bit near the end, as some things don't make much sense (why would they meet on the mountaintop? Why would he destroy the tape that proves he's innocent?) and the actors start chomping up screenplay as if they have been stranded on an island for a month. Danny Glover's dialogue is especially bad.
Shooter is a fun, action-packed movie that any action fan can enjoy. Recommended.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.