Yesterday was about honor. Today is about justice
Marky Mark goes fishing for a franchise in this adaptation of Stephen Hunter‘s Point of Impact, the first of many novels to feature military sharp-shooter Bob Lee Swagger. After a mission in the Ethiopian mountains has gone awry, Swagger retreats to a life in the mountains with a dog as his sole companion. When he is visited by Colonel Johnson (Danny Glover), Swagger is coerced back into field duty. Swagger is to foil an attempt on the President’s life. He, however, fails to do so and is framed for the attempted assassination himself.
Ten minutes into the movie and it is made abundantly clear on which territory we are. With its love for high-tech military gear and explosions, there is no doubt this is a guy’s movie. For good measure, throw in Swagger’s sexy love interest (Kate Mara) who refuses to wear anything but lingerie for half the length of her screen time and there is also no doubt that this will be a cliché heavy ride. Nevertheless, the frantic pace, immersive action set-pieces and a solid direction from Training Day helmer Antoine Fuqua carry the movie through its 2 hour runtime. R-rated action movies have become something of a rarity lately, but with its unflinching depiction of violence, Shooter reminds us of the glory days of action cinema of the 1970′s and 80′s. This is a traditional revenge movie in which one man thinks that he can make a difference, and takes on a shady and corrupt government single-handedly. Shooter is also very much an American movie and its patriotism and flog-waving might not go down as well in other countries. Even so, this is still solid entertainment. It’s tough as nails (occasionally too tough for its own good) and sometimes far too overblown, but a welcome change from Hollywood’s usual happy-go-lucky action fare geared towards teens.
Shooter is rated R for vigilantism.