Pros: Lots of action, good story
Cons: Too long
In Shooter, Mark Wahlberg plays a modern day Rambo who is set up for an assassination attempt by the U.S. government and he must employ all his espionage skills to avoid capture while trying to prove his innocence. In other words, he shoots and/or blows up at least 50 people in this movie. If you like action movies, youll like this one.
The movie begins with Wahlberg and another soldier camping out on a hillside in some far-reaching country where they are spying on some enemy soldiers. When the action starts, Wahlbergs partner gets killed and hes left to fend for himself, but not before he kills about ten guys first. The movie then jumps forward three years where Wahlberg now lives in the mountains and is semi-retired, though he regularly practices his shooting while hunting.
One day, some government men lead by Danny Glover show up to offer Wahlberg a consulting job. They want him to stage a presidential assassination. The reason is that word has come through that there is going to be an attempt on the life of the president, and they think the best way to stop it is to find a professional sniper and have him assess the area and tell how he would do it, so they can use that as a basis of what to look for. When the day comes, Wahlberg finds that he has been set up and now the whole country is looking for him. With the help of a single FBI agent (Michael Pena of World Trade Center) who smells the conspiracy, they work their way back to the high ranking officials who put it all together. Anybody that gets in the way gets their skull ventilated by a bullet.
As far as action movies go, I thought this was great. Its a little too long, but the story and characters are strong enough to make it worth seeing. I also liked how the plot was set up and how everything played out. Too many times with action movies like this, the plot is only slightly better than something youd find in a video game, but this one actually had some twists and turns. It still wasnt very believable, but you never know.
Mark Wahlberg is awesome as the lead character, even if he does look kind of grubby the whole movie. The character really is like a modern day Rambo with his expertise in various weapons and explosives. Wahlberg gets to kill bad guys in a variety of ways throughout the movie, including the use of guns, knives, homemade bombs, and more. Danny Glover is great as the tough guy who put the thing together and it was cool to see him in a big role again, though Glover is really starting to show his age now. Elias Koteas, who is always very good, plays a thug on Glovers side. Youll laugh when he gets dealt with.
This movie was directed by Antoine Fuqua, who previously did Training Day and King Arthur. I think he did a great job of holding the story all together, and he kept a nice balance between the urban action sequences as well as the shoot-outs in the mountains and woods. The story was based on a novel by Stephen Hunter, of which he has written several books on Wahlbergs character as well as his father. The screenplay was adapted by Jonathan Lemkin, who also did Red Planet and Lethal Weapon 4.
After seeing Shooter, I plan to read some of the books that inspired this movie. A friend of mine who read them said he was impressed by how well the movie stuck to the original story and that it even kept the books ending. This movie made almost $15 million on its opening weekend and I hope it earns enough to warrant a sequel. These days, there seems to be a lack of good action movies that dont involve comic book characters.