$2.50 Reviews: Shooter (2007)

$2.50 Reviews:

Shooter

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Shooter is a 2007 action/thriller film. Brought to us by director Antoine Fuqua, Shooter tells the story of an American sniper Bob Lee Swagger, who is framed for the murder of the archbishop of Ethiopia. Mark Wahlberg plays Swagger, a retired United States Gunnery Sniper, who ends up getting betrayed by the government for a crime he didn't commit. Along the way of his quest to clear his name, he meets up with rookie F.B.I agent Nick Memphis (Michael Pena), and his late partner's widow Sarah Fenn (Kate Mara).

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Surprisingly not just the Mark Wahlberg show.

The film actually opens up with Swagger and his sniping spotter covering the retreat of United States soldiers. After some impressive shots taken by Swagger, the two quickly realize that they are in trouble if they stay where they are, and promptly find out that the government doesn't care about them. Swagger ends up making it out, while his partner doesn't end up as lucky. Fast-forward 3 years, as Swagger has become a shut-in living in the woods. He gets a visit from a man working for the government. He has a job proposal for Swagger: plan a presidential assassination. He doesn't want execution, but apparently Swagger is the only one still alive who can plan a successful assassination. They want it planned so that they can stop a potential murderer. Quite quickly, Swagger is shot and goes on the run, as someone else shoots the archbishop of Ethiopia, who was standing right beside the President of the United States.

The plot is fairly basic and cliched, while any plot twists that occur are not going to really surprise you. The main character is betrayed by the government, and therefore must go on an insane quest to prove his innocence, as well as attempt to incriminate the real bad guy. Shooter isn't really a film that really dwells on the plot. That is a bit of a problem, as it tries to force you to think about who really is the bad guy, despite it never really mattering. The villains of the film end up kind of blending together into one role, and the film might have actually worked better if they were all one character. They are basically one-noted characters who have the sole purpose of giving Mark Wahlberg a reason to kill people.

Speaking of killing people, Shooter does its action scenes just fine. They are all fairly fun, with a lot of dead bodies being thrown in all different directions. The only problem with them is the fact that most of the deaths in the film actually come from innocent people just doing their job. In reality, only about 3 or 4 deaths are actually from the "bad guys". This fact, combined with a "feel-happy" ending that has some very serious implications definitely does detract from a film already hampered by its plot. With that said, if you don't think to hard about the people Swagger is killing, the action scenes are well done and enjoyable to watch.

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Oh yeah, Rhona Mitra is in this.
How did I forget to mention that?

Despite killing a lot of innocent people, Wahlberg actually does equate himself well as an action hero. He's certainly got the body for it, and even his demeanor in the film works well. In a way, he almost plays a superhero, as opposed to an action hero. The amount of improbable things that Swagger gets put through within the film makes you feel like he actually cannot be killed. This realization takes away from the pretense of tension that the film goes for. The acting overall is pretty good, with Wahlberg playing the action hero, Kate Mara playing the damsel in distress, and Michael Pena playing the unaware partner are all done fairly well. They aren't inspired performances by any stretch, but they are believable characters and act pretty much exactly how you'd expect them to.

The predictability of Shooter ends up being the film's biggest problem. The plot plays off of many other different conspiracy films, while the characters have one note that they sing until either the film, or their lives come to an end. The characters are acted out well, but since they don't really have much depth or development, that doesn't really save the film. What does save Shooter is the action scenes. If you can look over the fact that the majority of the deaths are hard-working, innocent people, the action scenes are really fun to watch. They don't really feature any tension, as Bob Lee Swagger is almost as impervious to damage as Superman is, but they are enjoyable to look at. The film's pacing is fine, with everything moving at a quick pace, and the action rarely letting up. It just doesn't really have the make-up of an incredible film. The plot is basic, and the characters aren't interesting. It is basically only saved by the action scenes, and that does not equal a great film. It is enjoyable though, so I would give it a watch.

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Ah, Shooter. Amongst a sea of films I'd recently watched that tried to be intelligent and force their views down my throat, Shooter was like a breath of fresh air. If it wasn't already obvious, I quite enjoyed the film. Sure, the plot wasn't all that good, but that wasn't the point. It was just a basic means to drive the action, something it definitely succeeded at doing. And they managed to make a complete asshole of a villain. Even I wanted to shoot that guy for being such a dick.

Pretty good review by the way.

Alpha1089:
Ah, Shooter. Amongst a sea of films I'd recently watched that tried to be intelligent and force their views down my throat, Shooter was like a breath of fresh air. If it wasn't already obvious, I quite enjoyed the film. Sure, the plot wasn't all that good, but that wasn't the point. It was just a basic means to drive the action, something it definitely succeeded at doing. And they managed to make a complete asshole of a villain. Even I wanted to shoot that guy for being such a dick.

I'm actually still not quite sure on my thoughts of it. I enjoyed the film, but looking at it objectively, (like I had to do for this review), I can't say there is too much good about it. It's mostly just action scenes making it entertaining.

I did really enjoy watching it, but can't really determine why, if that makes sense. I can't call it "great" film, but it was too enjoyable for me, regardless of it being really single minded in why it was enjoyable, for me to not like it.

This film is enjoyable but forgettable. There is nothing special or particularly interesting about this film at all. But it does its job, good action and decent everything else. I particularly enjoyed the ending scenes with Dan Glover, but that may be because I'm a fan of the guy.

Marter:
Oh yeah, Rhona Mitra is in this.

I kind of like Rhona Mitra but her best role to date by far is Hollow Man. Her role in Shooter doesn't compare at all.

AvsJoe:
I kind of like Rhona Mitra but her best role to date by far is Hollow Man. Her role in Shooter doesn't compare at all.

Aack! I still need to see that. I definitely want to, but haven't seen it yet.

As for her best role...I'm going with Doomsday, although I've only seen her in a couple other films. She was good in Doomsday though. :)

Marter:

AvsJoe:
I kind of like Rhona Mitra but her best role to date by far is Hollow Man. Her role in Shooter doesn't compare at all.

Aack! I still need to see that. I definitely want to, but haven't seen it yet.

As for her best role...I'm going with Doomsday, although I've only seen her in a couple other films. She was good in Doomsday though. :)

I enjoyed Doomsday, 'twas fun, but it was lacking something. I have never figured out why I didn't enjoy it as much as I probably should have but I only gave it an average score. I can say that it was effective as a 90 minute commercial though; damn do I want that car!

Hollow Man has the same problem. Despite being a well-written, well-directed, and well-acted horror flick, it was missing something. But it's a good movie and I very much recommend it. Avoid its sequel!

AvsJoe:
I enjoyed Doomsday, 'twas fun, but it was lacking something. I have never figured out why I didn't enjoy it as much as I probably should have but I only gave it an average score. I can say that it was effective as a 90 minute commercial though; damn do I want that car!

Hollow Man has the same problem. Despite being a well-written, well-directed, and well-acted horror flick, it was missing something. But it's a good movie and I very much recommend it. Avoid its sequel!

Considering I loved Doomsday, saying Hollow Man has the same problem it has makes me kind of want to see it more, just to see if I agree with you. And don't worry, I'll avoid the sequel. =D

*sigh*

NOW I WANNA SEE IT MORE!!!!!

Oh well, I'll just have to wait.

Marter:

AvsJoe:
I enjoyed Doomsday, 'twas fun, but it was lacking something. I have never figured out why I didn't enjoy it as much as I probably should have but I only gave it an average score. I can say that it was effective as a 90 minute commercial though; damn do I want that car!

Hollow Man has the same problem. Despite being a well-written, well-directed, and well-acted horror flick, it was missing something. But it's a good movie and I very much recommend it. Avoid its sequel!

Considering I loved Doomsday, saying Hollow Man has the same problem it has makes me kind of want to see it more, just to see if I agree with you. And don't worry, I'll avoid the sequel. =D

*sigh*

NOW I WANNA SEE IT MORE!!!!!

Oh well, I'll just have to wait.

Hollow Man has the same problem as Doomsday in my books, which is a lack of emotional depth and more of a focus on 'Look at all the cool stuff we're doing!'. They're good films, just not very involving I feel.

FargoDog:
Hollow Man has the same problem as Doomsday in my books, which is a lack of emotional depth and more of a focus on 'Look at all the cool stuff we're doing!'. They're good films, just not very involving I feel.

That's fair enough. I still want to see it though. Now I just need to find it...

Marter:

FargoDog:
Hollow Man has the same problem as Doomsday in my books, which is a lack of emotional depth and more of a focus on 'Look at all the cool stuff we're doing!'. They're good films, just not very involving I feel.

That's fair enough. I still want to see it though. Now I just need to find it...

Pick it up if you find it as it's worth a watch but I wouldn't actively hunt for it.

Now for a proper response, as that last one was typed up while trying to pull my shoes on for school. Seems I value posting on your reviews over catching the bus... Take that as you will :P.

I thought you liked Shooter a lot more than this? Not that you gave it a negative review, but you certainly didn't praise it as much as Doomsday or Snow Angels. In fact, the review seemed more heavy on the negative side. Did you not like it as much this time round or were you trying to balance the review more? Either way, it turned out great as always.

FargoDog:
Pick it up if you find it as it's worth a watch but I wouldn't actively hunt for it.

Now for a proper response, as that last one was typed up while trying to pull my shoes on for school. Seems I value posting on your reviews over catching the bus... Take that as you will :P.

I thought you liked Shooter a lot more than this? Not that you gave it a negative review, but you certainly didn't praise it as much as Doomsday or Snow Angels. In fact, the review seemed more heavy on the negative side. Did you not like it as much this time round or were you trying to balance the review more? Either way, it turned out great as always.

I thought I liked it more too, but when looking at it objectively, there isn't all that much great about it.

The thing I really like about Shooter is the end when

Always found it a surprisingly good movie though. Just good action.

Entirely filmed in British Columbia. :D

Casimir_Effect:
The thing I really like about Shooter is the end when

Always found it a surprisingly good movie though. Just good action.

I honestly think it should have ended basically right there. The scene after that kind of makes me think about the implications if something like that could actually happen.

Marter:

Casimir_Effect:
The thing I really like about Shooter is the end when

Always found it a surprisingly good movie though. Just good action.

I honestly think it should have ended basically right there. The scene after that kind of makes me think about the implications if something like that could actually happen.

Casimir_Effect:

 

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