, June 28, 2007
(view all comments by Grady Harp)
Things are not what they seem: A Study of Governmental Abuses
SHOOTER is a fast paced, well-photographed, imaginative thriller - the kind of movie that does not allow the attention span to wander for a second if the full impact of the drama is to be appreciated. Based on the popular novel 'Point of Impact' by Stephen Hunter and adapted for the screen by Jonathan Lemkin, this is a story we don't want to know: the Intelligence and Security of the US are shown to influenced by financial gains, greed, and lawlessness - all undercover in the most frightening ways. Director Antoine Fuqua ('Training Day', 'Tears of the Sun', 'King Arthur') knows his way around this kind of material and it is to his credit that he keeps the tension almost unbearably high for nearly two hours.
Retired military sniper Bob Lee Swagger (Mark Wahlberg) is living a lonely but secure life in the mountains until he is approached by Colonel Isaac Johnson (Danny Glover) to return to the art of killing: the President is threatened by an assassin and only Bob will be able to trace the paces that will prevent the event from happening. Bob returns to Washington, DC, Baltimore, and Philadelphia (the three places where the possible assassination could take place) and leads the FBI and CIA to the point of discovery, and at that time everything changes: to share the facts and events would be to spoil the innumerable surprises that alter the events of the story. Bob discovers who his real friends are (Kate Mara and Michael Pe?a) and the rest of the film is a chase and destroy mission that has the viewer gripping the chair.
Mark Wahlberg continues to prove that he is more than a hunky underwear model (though he is keeping his physique in perfect form!) and delivers one of his most completely realized characterizations of his career. The supporting cast includes such stalwarts as Ned Beatty, Elias Koteas, Rade Serbedzija as well as Glover, Mara and Pe?a, and each manages to make some fairly unbelievable roles credible. SHOOTER is not a great movie, but as an action/thriller/suspense film it ranks with the best of them. Grady Harp