Review: You Could Do Worse Than Shooter, But You Could Do Better Too
by Dave Minkus
March 23, 2007
Shooter really is a difficult film to review. Most run-of-the-mill action movies are never made to actually be reviewed by critics. Shooter is no different.
Shooter is the story of a secluded ex-marine sniper (Mark Wahlberg) talked back into government work in order to try and stop a plot to kill the president. When he gets double-crossed (I normally wouldn't give away that big a spoiler, but it's in the trailer), he goes after the SOB's who set him up. When it comes down to it, this film is an attempt to see if Mark Wahlberg can carry an action film by himself. While I think he is a very capable actor who can anchor any movie he could possibly feel like doing, this was not the right film to start with.
The problem with Shooter is that you feel like you've seen it all before. Parts of it feel like Enemy of the State. Other parts feel like the French Connection. Instead of really coming up with something new, the filmmakers borrow conventions from every other successful action film and put them in here, just not as well.
Instead of just calling it an action rip-off, I need to point out the high points that kept my score as high as it was. Mark Wahlberg was great. While it felt like the other actors who defined the term "phoned in performance" (Ned Beatty and Danny Glover, I'm looking at you), Wahlberg sells his character. When he's sniping people or planning how to take people down, you believe in his character. Everyone else really comes across as stale actors. It's like Wahlberg is acting in a completely different movie than the rest of the cast, and that really is the downfall of the film.
When it comes down to it, if you want to see stuff blow up and Mark Wahlberg shoot people, by all means catch this at a matinee. Like I said at the beginning, this is the crowd the film is reaching out too. It really doesn't concern itself with critical reaction, and it really doesn't need to. Shooter isn't trying to say a message. It isn't about the evils of war. It's about a guy who got screwed over getting revenge. It just didn't tell that story as well as many previous films telling similar stories.
Reader Feedback - 8 Comments
I have to agree with you. I loved Wahlberg in this. Just finished seeing it at the theater and i'd give it about the same rating you gave it. Pretty cool action flick though. My only real problem (and this is ignoring everything else since this is really just an action film) is the ending. Felt a little strange to me. Other than that, I thought it was pretty cool.
Sam on Mar 23, 2007
Sam, The ending was the thing I had the biggest problem with, as well. After watching the events on the screen unfold for almost two hours, it just seemed like the resolution came and went quite quickly and the movie was over. Dave, I couldn't agree more about the performances of Beatty and Glover.
Jason of New Movie Friday on Mar 27, 2007
The thing that I could have fleshed out a little more in my review (but felt it wasn't appropriate) is that I HATE it when I call out actors I have a tremendous amount of respect for. The reason I did it is because these guys are awesome when at the top of their game. This was just nowhere near the top of their game.
FS Dave on Mar 28, 2007
Who is this Dave Minkus n00b? His reviews suck ass, they sound like palsea victim after getting hit with a pipe wrench. Billington, fire his ass.
Goldberg on Mar 28, 2007
Finally! It's about damn time I got some hatemail. Although I have a feeling it's just someone trying to make me feel better. Thanks for the constructive input!
FS Dave on Mar 29, 2007
I think you need to watch the film again if you think there is no message attached to Shooter. Okay I admit, I've seen the deleted scenes, but even without them there is certainly a message about our "current state of affairs." Oh wait, you must have been the only guy out there who really did vote for Bush...both times.
Z on Dec 3, 2007
I think you need to watch the film again if you think there is no message attached to Shooter. Okay I admit, I've seen the deleted scenes, but even without them there is certainly a message about our "current state of affairs." Oh wait, you must have been the only guy out there who really did vote for Bush...both times. By the way does the FS before the Dave stand for Full of S***?
Z on Dec 3, 2007
I think the Shooter was perfect movie for Mark!!! He was wonderful and I enjoyed every second just like in the Three Kings. He fits perfect in the army-roles! I loved those parts when he was shot and tried to stay alive or when he went to ask Sarah's help because of his wounds. He was lovely! It's good to see some medical things in these action movies because without them all it's non-human...
Sissy on Jul 16, 2008
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