The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review-Shooter

Mark Wahlberg portrays a professional Marine sniper in the new action-thriller Shooter.  Photo courtesy Paramount
Mark Wahlberg portrays a professional Marine sniper in the new action-thriller Shooter. Photo courtesy Paramount

By Devin Rodgers/reporter

Mark Wahlberg portrays a professional Marine sniper in the new action-thriller Shooter.  Photo courtesy Paramount
Mark Wahlberg portrays a professional Marine sniper in the new action-thriller Shooter. Photo courtesy Paramount

I didn’t exactly have my sights set high when I walked into Shooter, the new action-thriller starring recent Oscar nominee Mark Wahlberg, but when I came out I certainly can’t deny that I had been entertained.

Wahlberg stars as professional Marine Scout sniper Bobby Lee Swagger. The writers could not have come up with a more butch name even if they tried.

When an assignment in Africa ends up killing Swagger’s partner, he secludes himself in a mountaintop ranch away from the government and everybody else; it’s just him and his trusty dog Sam.

After three years of inactive duty, retired Col. Isaac Johnson (Danny Glover) reels him back into service when he informs Swagger of a rumored plot to assassinate the president.

Swagger’s unique tactical skill and training make him the perfect consultant on how to execute or, in this case, stop an attempted hit on the president. But quicker than you can say “Oswald,” Swagger is set up and finds himself hot on the run as public enemy No. 1.

Coming to Swagger’s aid is investigative rookie FBI agent Nick Memphis (played by Crash’s Michael Peña), who has reasonable doubt about Swagger’s involvement in the assassination. Also lending Swagger help and a place to hideout is Sarah Fenn (played by cutie Kate Mara), the fiancé of Swagger’s deceased sniper buddy.

The first half feels a bit by-the-book and seems reminiscent of more recent chase thrillers as The Bourne Identity and The Fugitive.

Thankfully, as Shooter aims for the finish line, it turns more in the direction of First Blood or Dirty Harry, with Wahlberg doing everything necessary—at the end of a rifle barrel, of course—to keep the political garbage out of Washington. If only it were really that easy.

Some might complain that the second half of the film gets a bit too political (or complicated) for its own good, but it’s the second half that partially saves or keeps Shooter from being another terribly predictable and pedestrian thriller.

I’d rather have my action-thrillers with something on its mind, rather than not.

Antoine Fuqua, who is best known for directing Denzel Washington to an Oscar in Training Day, apparently is becoming the next go-to guy for action flicks, joining the ranks of such pyro-maestros as Michael Bay and Tony Scott. To his credit though, he certainly knows how to blow up a house like it’s nobody’s business, and here he reminds us not once, but twice.

Shooter certainly won’t win any extra points for originality. But if you let it, it just might entertain those seeking some bloody good action, packing more head shots and discarded corpses than The Departed.

There’s some fun to be had with Shooter, but the quicker you decide to turn off your brain and just go with it, the better. It may be your average “man-on-the-run” escapist thriller, but the film does entertain, and in this day and age that’s the bottom-line.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian