Release Date: March 23rd, 2007 by Paramount Pictures.
The Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Michael Peña, Danny Glover, Kate Mara, Elias Koteas, Rhona Mitra, Ned Beatty, Lane Garrison.
Directed by Antoine Fuqua.
BASIC PREMISE: Bob Lee Swagger (Wahlberg), a former Army sniper framed for assassinating an African diplomat, runs away from authorities while trying to prove his innocence.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Shooter follows the formula of cat-and-mouse thrillers quite well, although with very few surprises. The opening scene establishes Bob Lee Swagger as a very skilled sharpshooter as he goes on a mission in a mountainous region with his buddy, Donnie (Garrison), who gets killed by enemy gunfire. This prologue will make more sense in the second act. A few years later, Swagger, now living in Wyoming, goes on another mission, commanded by a government agent (Glover). He must stop the impending assassination of the President, but when he arrives in Washington to show off his skills, he gets framed for assassinating an African diplomat while supposedly trying to aim for the President. Now begins the thrilling second act which involves a lengthy cat-and-mouse chase between government agents and Swagger. One FBI agent, Nick (Peña) tries to help Swagger out because he believes that he was framed as part of an internal conspiracy. In a rather clichéd, contrived scene, Swagger somehow makes it from Washington, DC to Kentucky with two bullet wounds in his upper body and arrives at the house of Sarah (Mara), Donnie’s sexy girlfriend, who happens to have once studied to become a nurse. Screenwriter Jonathan Lemkin doesn’t offer enough suspense, though, given that the audience already knows that the government has framed Swagger and left some loose ends which FBI agent Nick uncovers. Lemkin includes a silly scene where government agents babble to Swagger about politics way up on the top of a mountain. Fortunately, Mark Wahlberg adds not only good looks but charisma to the complex role of swagger. Most of Shooter feels thrilling and exciting thanks to director Anthony Fuqua, who uses cinematography, musical score and fast pacing to create a very tense atmosphere throughout the running time of 2 hours and 4 minutes.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: None, other than that people with power may somebody use it to be corrupt.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Occasionally contrived.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 1
IN A NUTSHELL: An intense and thrilling ride with brief, forgivably contrived moments.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater
The "S" Menu