Shooter (Film)

Artist: Movie ReviewTitle: Shooter (Film)Rating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Edwardo Jackson

Jaded patriot and retired gunnery sergeant turned reclusive

mountain man Bob Lee Swagger (Mark Wahlberg) is recruited to plot a

Presidential assassination attempt in order to prevent one by the

shadowy Col. Isaac Johnson (Dannny Glover). Guess what…setup! Bob

Lee goes on the run not only to prove his innocence but also to bring

down the cigar-smoking powers that be, armed only with his

counterintelligence training, itchy sharpshooter trigger finger, and

the aid of one intrepid rookie FBI agent (Michael Pena).

“Some people don’t know what to do when their belief system

collapses. Bob Lee is one of them.” No kidding, Col. Johnson. Living

up to its name right out the box, Shooter (Paramount Pictures) is, quite simply, a lot of

fun. Summery in its flashy cinematography, slo-mo explosions, and

NRA-approved exercising of our 2nd Amendment rights, Shooter is a

VERY smart action thriller that can make its detailed talk about

ballistics look as sexy as Wahlberg’s career-mandated, countless de

rigueur shirtless scenes (don’t fret, ladies; Marky Mark still has

more six-pack than a liquor sto’). Surprisingly, the brassy, ballsy

script by Jonathan Lemkin (The Devil’s Advocate) was adapted from the

first in a series of Bob Lee Swagger (gotta love that hillbilly

justice name, no?) books from Washington Post film critic Stephen

Hunter. Can you smell sequel?

That’s not to say this is a perfect (action) movie. Shooter has some

stock conventions (“information above your pay grade” talk went out

with Inside Man) but it never holds you back from the fun,

distracting you just when you need it with the tease of skin or bona

fide Michael Bay flames. Rising star Pena enjoys some moments

of earnest comic relief as Swagger’s slyly cynical but unlikely

spotter; Elias Koteas has a distinctly creepy, disgusting vibe for a

lackey henchman; and a whispery, hoarse-from-all-his-evildoing Glover

is gleefully villainous. For overkill, there’s Nip/Tuck’s Hades-hot

Rhona Mitra and the luminous Kate Mara (We Are Marshall), with her

reddish-brown tresses, light dusting of freckles, and scorching brown

eyes. Mark Wahlberg,

with his Ph. D. in Badassery, (Bob Lee) swaggers about the screen with

his hero’s squint and economy of words, a MacGyver of survival, taking

on all comers with an artillery that should get him on the cover of

“Guns & Ammo.” All held together by the formidable talents of Antoine

Fuqua’s eye for appealing landscapes, penchant for some rousing stage

combat, and love of a good car chase, Shooter hits its mark.

Edwardo Jackson (ReelReviewz@aol.com) is an author and LA-based screenwriter, visit his website at www.edwardojackson.com

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