Monday, April 12, 2010

Shooter -- 2007


Rated R for strong graphic violence and some language
My Rating: 4 stars

Mark Wahlberg
Michael Pena
Danny Glover
Kate Mara
Elias Koteas
Rhona Mitra
Rade Sherbedgia
Ned Beatty

If you like conspiracy, action, romance and a lesson on sniper shooting, this movie is for you.

When military sniper, Bob Lee Swagger, is left for dead in the middle of nowhere and his best friend and spotter is killed in a mission gone wrong, he is left with an tarnished vision of the land of the free and home of the brave. When he made it out, he payed his respects to the people who were to fault, then retired and retreated far into the mountains, resolved never to shake hands with the government again.

But when he is asked to help divert an assassination attempt on the President of the United States, the oath he took to defend his country and it's people rang in his ears once again. He agrees to stage an assassination so the agency requesting his assistance will be able to use the knowledge he imparts to them to stop the real assassination attempt.

What happens when an agency turns out to be shady? What happens when the assassination is executed and pinned on Bob Lee Swagger? What happens when he's shot twice at point blank range? What happens when the agency tears his life apart and hurts those he loves? What happens when the head of the FBI sits beside him and remarks, “This is not the wild west, when the streets were ruled by guns... even if that's exactly what needs to happen”?

What I Liked:
1: The story. It was very interesting and totally kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire movie. :-)
2: Action, but not too much. Very well done.
3: The cast. I'd seen Kate Mara in Zoom and really enjoyed her performance there. She is just as good in this film. Mark Wahlberg was excellent as well.
4: Clean romance.
5: There was implication of rape but only that. Thank you, Mr. Director! Oh. Thanks also for the fitting end of the rapist.
6: The sense of justice happening, in spite of a very screwed up justice system.
7: The young FBI agent showed a remarkable character and tenaciousness for what was right, even when everyone else said he was wrong (and worse). I enjoyed his character the most. It was a refreshing change.

What I Didn't Like:
1: How unrealistic/unnecessary some of the story seemed. For instance, even I knew they were going to pick up on the existence of the girl. Why didn't Bob Lee, as efficient as he was in every other situation, think of that?
2: The language. I wanted to show this film to my brother (age 15) but when I re-watched it (with my ears open... usually when I'm watching a film, I block the language out of my head) and didn't feel as though I could for that reason. Frustrating.
3: Why did Sarah have to get kidnapped with her shirt off? (She was wearing underclothing, for the record.) It wasn't necessary... added nothing important to the story. Thankfully, it's only three shots and only one is fairly graphic. It would be easy to cover the screen.

This movie was filmed beautifully and the story told well... it isn't a movie I'd want to watch often but I'm glad I watched it. It's another movie that the viewer can learn from. I love watching Mark Wahlberg embody Bob Lee Swagger as deals with a set of raging emotions... learning that even though a person goes through a horrendous ordeal, bitterness never helps. But being thankful makes all things bearable.

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