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Thursday, March 22, 2007

/* They killed my dog ! */ - Shooter is maximum action and Hello nurse !

Director Antoine Fuqua unleashes hell in Shooter.

This is not 300 - this is 1.

All the carnage from Antoine Fuqua's King Arthur is amplified to the max in Mark Wahlberg's version of a wronger done wrong. [P.S. Do not confuse Shooter with Wesley Snipe's The Shooter.]
Fuqua has a way with soldiers, guns and drama after his touches with Bruce Willis in Tears of the Sun [which was supposed to be the basis for Die Hard 4] and the Oscar for Denzel in Training Day. Morality is a slippery slope in Shooter but issues are painted in black and white.

"They killed my dog !" and thusly abandoned ex-army marksman shootist Bob Lee Swagger who can hit a can of Dinty Moore's beef stew from a mile away and framed for a presidential assassination is on a one man rampage - don't get mad get even and more. This is not 300 - this is 1.

He does have a little help from a wronged FBI Agent Nick Memphis played by Michael Peña. This action thriller has everything for the ladies replete with Mark Wahlberg's well muscled torso on display as after he has been shot twice and races to Kentucky where he is nursed back to health [ hello nurse ! ] by his army buddy's young grieving girlfriend Sarah Fenn [ Kate Mara ] who is more than the eye candy for the movie - she is the distraction and unwittingly becomes more of Fuqua's bait. A cast of near A-list names with Danny Glover as a highly decorated army colonel who waves flag and country to recruit Wahlberg for his expertise in sniping to prevent the assassination of the President of the United States, and Ned Beatty along for the ride as a United Stated Senator gives the movie some credibility to a movie that is more Bourne Identity than Bourne Identity at times mixed with elements well familiar from 24 with this season's Rade Serbedzija [who is Day 6's Dmitri Gredenko] mixed up with Glover and Beatty. A couple of name Canadian actors are given prominence [considering that the film is shot in BC masquerading as the US Kentucky and Tennessee with all the mountains and forest] - especially Elias Koteas as a particular nasty.

What the hell is going on ? asks FBI agent The O.C.'s Tate Donovan at one point after the trail of bloody bodies and fingerprints leads back to FBI complicity with the shooter they are looking for - and one is often left to wonder that. But all lulls on screen are soon filled with maximum rock and roll shooting as Swagger shows off his skills as a deadly marksman and survivalist. Be careful the next time you see him at your local hardware store.

Shooter has all the feel of Blood Diamond - lots of action, and the perquisite slow motion in front of explosion and chase with little emotional impact [save once again for nurse Kate Mara who becomes entwined in the plot].

By the end Shooter is way overkill and barring the nebulous politics is great theatre fodder

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