by MP Bartley
You could take 3 random episodes of 24 from 3 different seasons, string them together and they'd still make more sense and be more enjoyable than Shooter.Shooter revolves around the idea that Bob Lee Swaggert (Mark Wahlberg), a disaffected, ex-special forces marksman, is framed for the assassination attempt on the President of the United States, an attempt that results in the death of the visiting Bishop of Ethopia. Now, I could review this film as I normally, by analysing performances, the direction, any thematic concerns of interest in the film, and any other elements of particular note. But instead, I’ve constructed a little quiz for you all to take.
"Shoot me please."
Question 1: You are the combined security forces of the United States who for some stupidly inane reason want to kill a high-ranking foreign dignitary on your own soil. Do you:
A) Arrange for a motor accident on a stretch of deserted road or in an underpass?
B) Slip a lethal drug into his drink late at night and cover up the toxicology report?
C) Have him suffocated in such a way that makes it look like a heart attack?, or,
D)Take him out in front of hundreds of witnesses when he’s stood next to the President, framing a highly trained soldier in the process, instead of some convenient scapegoat like an illegal immigrant or some known criminal?
If you’ve answered D, congratulations, you are the central plot of Shooter.
Question 2: You want someone to portray the taciturn, lethal soldier on the run. Matt Damon is not available, so do you:
A) Cast a huge star like George Clooney or Johnny Depp?
B) Cast an over-the-hill, but bankable, star like Sylvester Stallone?
C)Cast an intriguing, left-field choice, like Ryan Gosling?, or,
D)Cast Mark Wahlberg?
If you’ve answered D, congratulations, you are the star of Shooter.
Question 3: You now need a villain. Do you:
A)See if Kevin Spacey fancies a nice and easy pay-cheque?
B)Hire an outlandish European choice, such as Peter Stormare?
C)Hire an ageing, but interesting choice, such as Mickey Rourke?, or,
D)Hire Danny Glover and give him a lisp?
If you’ve answered D, congratulations, you are the principal villain of Shooter.
Question 4: As the hero of Shooter, you have an incriminating piece of evidence that could bring down the secret services and save you from the chair. Do you:
A) Get it to the media as fast as possible?
B) Go on the run, after mailing said villains a copy, telling them to never follow you?
C) Take it to the authorities?, or,
D) Arrange a mountain-top rendezvous, show them the evidence, then destroy it whilst allowing yourself to get surrounded and captured?
If you answered D, congratulations, you are the intelligent plan of the hero of Shooter.
Question 5: Having captured the man framed for the assassination attempt, you are now organising a hearing that he has requested. Do you:
A)Keep him locked and chained in his cell and have the hearing there?
B)Chain him to the table and chairs in your meeting room?
C) Have him appear under lock and key and surrounded by armed guards?, or,
D)Take his shackles off, let him shake the hand of the FBI agent he’s become friends with over the course of the film so they can engage in the most blatantly obvious palmed bullet exchange ever, and let him stand in front of you while his perfectly working rifle is right next to him as ‘evidence’?
If you answered D, congratulations, you are the climax of Shooter and are so stupid you probably need to be reminded to breathe.Are you completely bereft of intelligence, plausibility, and wit, yet somehow convinced that you are a tough, paranoid thriller? Are you as irritating as a a grain of sand between the bum cheeks? If you've answered 'yes', than congratulations, you are Shooter.
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=15540&reviewer=293
originally posted: 02/08/08 21:18:28