Last week (yes, I know, I’m late in writing this!) I went to see Shooter, the new action thriller by director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, King Arthur). Based on the novel “Point of Impact” by Stephen Hunter, the film is about Bob Lee Swagger (Mark Wahlberg), a military sniper who has retired (and retreated) to a life of solitude in the mountains after his partner is killed in a mission gone wrong. He’s approached by a group of government agents who believe a plot to assassinate the president is going to go forward, and need his help to “think like the assassin” – using his skills as a sniper to find out where the assassin might be during the public speech. Unfortunately, Swagger is framed for the attempt, and is now on the run to survive, prove his innocence, and bring justice to those who wronged him.
This is an entertaining movie that works best if you don’t think too hard. I haven’t read the novel, but I am sure that it would make a good airplane read – a fun enjoyable read, but in the end, not much to sing about. The story felt like a 1980s movie throwback, for better or for worse, with the occasional conspiracy theory thrown in for good measure. Oh, and let’s not forget it’s all about ooooooiiiilllllllll! The action and stealth moments are what stands out in this film, and there is a definite reason this is rated R.
If you want a good adult-oriented action thriller without slickly stylized buff Greek men fighting the evil Persians, then Shooter will probably fulfill that need.