Bob Lee Swagger (Wahlberg) was one of the best snipers in the US armed forces
but when a threat on the President of the United States by a lone gunman
is discovered, Colonel Isaac Johnson (Glover) turns to him to try and get
into the mind of the potential killer. When he concludes that the assassination
attempt will take place in Philadelphia and the Colonel sends his team there
to protect the President but Swagger is doubled crossed as a shot rings
out across the city. Now he has to discover who framed him and clear his
During the 1980s
there was one thing that epitomised the action genre, the one-man army but
can this plot devise still work in the new millennium?
A lone warrior taking
on the bad guys is what drove every single action movie in the 80s and made
superstars out of Stallone, Van Damme, Segal, Gibson, Willis and Schwarzenegger.
These were men who could take on hundreds of henchmen with a limitless supply
bullets fired with pinpoint accuracy from a huge gun, spouting deadpan one-liners
along the way to saving the day. These were emotionless, hard men who had
unparalleled skills, super soldiers/police officers who can make explosives
from anything and cure their injures with items from the supermarket. These
men were hard. Director Antoine Fuqua and his creative team want to reintroduce
this kind of hero and they think Mark Wahlberg is man.
The 90s and the
new millennium revealed a new kind of action hero, one that either worked
with a team or was a comic book superhero and never afraid to show their
emotions. 'The Shooter' mixes the best of this new direction and injects
everything that made the 80s action movie king at the box office. Here we
have huge explosions, thousands of bullets, inventive weapons made from
household objects and the ability to cure yourself with a basic first aid
kit and items from a supermarket, mixed with a smattering of modern themes
such as a conspiracy theory oriented plot. This is a mix that really shouldn't
have worked but for the most part it does.
Mark Wahlberg has
come a long way since breaking onto the scene as rapper 'Marky Mark'. Now
a respected actor with critically acclaimed performances in 'Boogie Nights',
'I Heart Huckabees' and 'The Departed', as well as gaining commercial success
in movies like 'The Italian Job', 'Four Brothers' and 'The Perfect Storm',
the is a role that might not really challenge his abilities but it does
give him the chance to show again that he can be an action star. As Bob
Lee Swagger, the ex-marine corps sniper, he is a one-man army who is trained
to survive, as he keeps telling us and he has a lot of fun doing it. Michael
Peņa continues to make a name for himself with another decent performance
and there is also a star making turn from Kate Mara as Swagger love interest,
Sarah Fenn. On the villain side we have 80s action stalwart Danny Glover
having some fun, as does Elias Koteas but it is hard to take Ned Beatty
seriously as Senator Charles F. Meachum, the man who has his own agenda
for the United States.
'Shooter' is a
movie that is more fun than it ever should have been. Successfully mixing
conspiracy theory and the action excesses that dominated the 80s, this is
a film that you cannot help but enjoy.
Presented in Widescreen
2.35:1 Anamorphic with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, the transfer is good.
director Antoine Fuqua
The main at the helm of 'Shooter' talks about how adaptation of Stephen
Hunter's novel. He reveals how he and his creative team approached the film
and the style in which it was shot. Casting and locations are also discussed
with the realism of the stunts and visual effects and the themes of the
story. This is a decent single person commentary that fans of the filmmaker
and the movie should enjoy.
Survival of the
Fittest: The Making of Shooter (21.50 mins)
Director Antoine Fuqua, producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, author Stephen
Hunter, screenwriter Jonathan Lemkin, military technical advisor Patrick
Garrity and stars Mark Wahlberg, Michael Peņa and Kate Mara take you behind
the scenes of 'Shooter'. Here we see the training Mark Wahlberg went through
to prepare for the role, making the movie as realistic as possible and creating
the high-octane action scenes.
Hall (17.18 mins)
Producer Ric Kidney, military technical advisor Patrick Garrity and the
park rangers for the Independence Hall in Philadelphia, talk about the history
of the site, discussing the Liberty Bell, Declaration of Independence and
the first congress.
Entitled 'Nick Memphis intro at FBI', 'Timmons in the Alley', 'Sarah and
Swagger discuss conspiracy', 'Extended shopping scene', 'Swagger and Memphis
at the river', 'Swagger and Memphis driving after the farmhouse' and 'Swagger
and Memphis in the motel room', these deleted or extended scenes suffer
from the lack of a commentary track or introduction to reveal why they were
Previews of 'Transformers', 'Dreamgirls' and 'Black Snake Moan'
With a decent commentary
and making of featurettes, the DVD treatment for 'Shooter' is good. While
there could have been more about the training and the creation of the action
sequences, fans should be happy with these extras.
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