"What's this? A DTV sequel that's NOT completely and blatantly worthless?"
Direct-to-video follow-up to a sniper flick that nobody really remembers seeing, "Sniper 2" is as rote and predictable an action movie as you're likely to come across. But surprisingly it's also fairly watchable and offers the generally cool Tom Berenger at his most enjoyably gruff.Toss in a few familiar supporting faces and a slick action sequence every 15 minutes - and you're looking at a low-rent shoot-'em-up that may actually be worthy of a 3-dollar rental. It's certainly more entertaining than most of the massively expensive action flicks that parade across the multiplex screens summer after summer.
The plot is as you'd expect: Berenger returns as sniper extraordinaire Thomas Beckett. Mired in a humiliating gig as hunting guide for clueless idiots, Beckett takes the opportunity to again murder for his country when the military comes a'callin. Saddled with a convict sidekick and a fetching foreign contact, Beckett must invade some country and kill some evil guy...but there's a few cool twists within.
Obviously one doesn't snag the Sniper 2 case from the DVD shelf expecting a Godfather 2...or even a Die Hard 2. But despite a solid handful of slow stretches and a screenplay entirely reliant on other movies, Sniper 2 does deliver what it promises - and any DTV sequel that delivers the goods deserves a handful of praise.
Berenger delivers a presence likably stoic and heroic, sidekick Bokeem Woodbine is suitably fractious as Beckett's reluctant new partner, and Erika Marozsan (who could be Cameron Diaz's little brunette sister) offers some plucky heroine eye candy.
Sniper 2 isn't likely to stay in your brain for more than 3 or 4 hours after it ends, but it's not a half-bad little affair if what you're looking for is a "cable action flick". The sniping is nasty and effective, there are numerous well-photographed explosions, and the action finale works pretty darn well.When a movie aspires to be nothing more than cinematic meatloaf, just being tasty is good enough.