This review has taken a long time coming. We saw it a couple of weeks after its initial release — so late that we had difficulty finding a cinema in London that was showing it in fact — but I’ve been sitting on my thoughts since then. Why? Well, as useful and informative as the CRAP Alert system is, not being able to compare and contrast my score to that of the CAP Alert team removed some of the fun. Nevertheless, you can’t wait forever so here is the full review.
“Shooter” starts well. As it begins, “Marky” Mark Wahlberg is a sniper in an operation that, to cut a long story short, goes wrong. The sequence ends with his team-mate dead and a helicopter exploding. Only a few minutes into the movie and it’s looking good on the CRAP scale already!
The film then relocates to US soil a few years later. Swagger (Wahlberg) is brought in to help thwart a suspected plot on the president but is actually set up. The plot, therefore, is his efforts to evade capture by the FBI and prove his innocence.
As luck would have it, not the whole US government is against Swagger. He teams up with rookie FBI agent and his spotters widow and, naturally, the good guys prevails.
Chopper: 81%. As an action film this is where Shooter excels. In one sense the movie is just a collection of action sequences strung together with some plot. There are a couple of exploding helicopters and the sequence where he escapes from a house features burning napalm and plenty of loud blasts.
Relations: 19% There are some tender moments between the spotters widow and Swagger and respect between his and the rookie FBI agent, but this was never going to be the next Titanic. There are some tight T-shirts in places but no nudity.
Amusement: 43%. As an action film, laughs are not the primary aim, nevertheless there are some good chuckle moments. One of my favourites was, “I don’t think you understand: they killed my dog.” And, “We want someone trustworthy. How about the guy with sunglasses?” “You mean Bono?” “Yeah, or how about Nelson Mandela?”
Plot: 61%. The basic plot I mentioned in the introduction. Clearly it’s not the kind of film that’s going to keep you awake at night trying to come to terms with the philosophical questions posed, but it does have some twists and turns. I’m unconvinced that the method of dealing with the “unbeatable” bad guy was the best that could have been done. I’m not even sure it was really in character. Equally, it is far better plotted than most action films.
Overall rating: 51%
So overall “Shooter” is an entertaining movie and, thus, does pretty well on the CRAP scale. With a complete lack of gratuitous nudity it was never going to be a top scorer but this is a very respectable outcome and if ‘action’ is your thing it does come highly recommended.