Sunday, April 15, 2007

Shooter -- A movie Review

(I've added a link to the movie's site under the Post title.)

Saturday was an interesting day. I had errands that needed running. So G and I went errand running. We had mommy & son time it was interesting - but I couldn't accomplish all I wanted to do in one or two stores. We ended up in 3 or 4 stores. *L* And I still forgot something. That's the funny part and I still can't believe it. At one point, G said "If we go to lots of stores, I'm going to get tired and have to ride in the basket."

That was our morning. By evening, The Professor needed out of the house. So I was going to send him to the movies. I called my brother to see if he wanted to go but he was working. My mom got this idea in her head that she'd come up and watch the kids while WE went to the movies TOGETHER.

I tried to dissuade her because the littles were bit cranky but she had her mind made up and, secretly, I was thrilled. I'd seen the commercials for this movie. I looked good and interesting. I really liked Mark Wahlberg in "The Italian Job" and thought this might be a fun movie, too.

I was a bit leery of the "R" rating and try to avoid those as they tend to be over sexed, over gored, or over languaged. Oh or a combination of the three. The language in this movie was at a minimum and I was surprised, because it really didn't need the language to add to the gritty feeling of the plot. Matter of fact, it surprised me when they started throwing the most overused (and misused) word in the library of bad words. Sorry I digress. There wasn't any "sex" and the gore wasn't over done. Lots of blood - nothing further.

The movie is about Bob Lee Swagger (played by Wahlberg) who is from the hills of ?Tennessee? and becomes a sniper in the Marines. He's essentially double-crossed (also reads "hung out to dry") while on a mission in Africa. In this action he looses his best friend and teammate, drops out of the army and tries to drop out of existence.

36 months later. (Seriously - it didn't say 3 years later - 36 months). Swagger is approached by the government to help them stop an assassination on the president. They said they've intercepted intel that said the assassination plot will happen in a certain time window. The president is making a trip during that time and they want Swagger to help him figure out the best possible site (as if he were plotting the assassination) so that they can catch the killer.

All the time it's one giant set up. Of course, we knew that going in.

I had hope for this movie. I really did. Click Here to see some clips from the movie and you'll see why. I love action flicks and on top of that I'll forgive a movie a lot of bad stuff (like bad dialogue or acting) if it will give me good characters that feed my imagination.

I'll forgive it even more if the movie will give me a good ending. (an example would be "Stomp the Yard" - a bad example would be "Reign of Fire".)

I thought Wahlberg did fairly well with the character of Swagger. He had enough of an accent to make his character believable and not make it over the top. I believe they wanted Swagger to be an "every man" (not super smart or James Bond-ish) and I think they succeeded. Even though I liked Wahlberg in the movie, I think he was a bit upstaged by Michael Pena who played rookie FBI agent Nick Memphis. Or maybe the character of Swagger was upstaged by the character of Memphis. I don't know - either way - Memphis' presence was MUCH needed in the movie.

Back to the plot.
Swagger thinks he's helping the nice government men to stop a plot and he goes to visit the 3 sites that the Prez is supposed to visit. He succeeds in narrowing down the choices and says "here's the only option." Philly.

So they stage a stake out with the premise that they're going to let the assassin get in place and then "take him out." Only thing is - it's a set up. We the audience knows this - Swagger does not. He gets shot in the back (By a Philly police man) and still survives. Stealing Agent Memphis' FBI vehicle after telling Memphis that essentially "I didn't do it."

He manages to evade capture and hide enough to get to the widow of his former teammate. Which is the introduction of the love interest in the movie. I have to say that Kate Mara, even though I've never heard of her, did a pretty good job. (Both Sarah and Memphis have some really good lines.)

The biggest gripe I have with the movie is the HOPELESSNESS of it. They paint a picture of world wide corruption. It's a pretty bleak picture. One of the bad guys turns out to be a 6-term senator, who says "It's about the 'Haves' and the 'Have-nots'. And you're in one of those two categories."

The corruption the paint is deep and dark. So deep and dark - even the justice system can't touch it.

I don't like it when movie makers make the ENTIRE government out to be blood-suckers who will do anything for money, or oil or -- you name it. That is what this movie tried to do. I told the Professor that if this didn't have a happy ending, I was going to ask for my money back. I have to believe that there are good people in government. People who can not be corrupted. I have to believe that the world is not all evil...because this movie certainly left you feeling like those that "have" were evil and those that "have not" were just blind to the evil.

Sounds like a political party type stunt. And I"m doing my best to keep my political opinions to myself. This movie did not keep their political views quiet. I couldn't decide if the movie hated ALL government -- or just the current president.

The ending left much to be desired. We were hoping for JUSTICE! We got half-justice. I wanted more. We got Swagger having to take care of the bad guys himself. But the movie had already said that if these bad guys were gone - there were others to take their place. Like I said - a hopeless movie.

Comparisons though -- Much like I did with Happy Feet and Footloose - I see a comparison with "Shooter" and "The Bourne Identity".

We see 2 wronged and specially trained men, both wronged by their "organizations". They have both have love interests that save their lives and are key in the plots as the movie progresses. We even have highly-placed bad guys. However - we have two very different movies.

"Shooter" is a bitter, watered-down version of "The Bourne Identity".
If you want to see a good action movie -- see "The Bourne Identity" instead of "The Shooter".

The good guys win in that movie.


Halfmoon Girl said...

I like the Bourne Identity too. I haven't seen this movie, but won't bother now. Who am I kidding...the last movie I saw was about a year ago, I think.

Anonymous said...

i'm sorry i know nothing about movies.
however, i have tagged you with a blog tag. i hope you don't mind. and if you do, blame halfmoon girl. :o)

Anonymous said...

mwhahahahhaha... no you cannot clean first! but i loved the "stacker"... ah a kindred spirit. :o)