Saturday, April 07, 2007


Once again the movie slut (me) finds himself in the minority of people who liked Shooter. I checked on Rotten Tomatoes and found it had a ranking of 47%. I didn't bother to read any of the reviews now that I've seen the movie, but maybe I should just to see what people didn't like.

If you've read Stephen Hunter's Point of Impact, on which the movie is based, you have a good idea of the plot. The movie's been slightly updated, but it follows the novel pretty closely. Bob Lee Swagger, expert sniper, gets involved in a conspiracy and is made the patsy. He survives and starts hunting down the principals, who are very powerful people indeed. He gets out of some tight spots and deals out some rough vigilante justice along the way to a satisfying conclusion. In fact, a well-made Matt Helm movie might be something like this.

Mark Wahlberg does just fine as Swagger, who, as in the novel, is hard as nails and smarter than anybody gives him credit for. Levon Helm steals the only scene he's in without even trying. Danny Glover is fine, and it's always good to see Ned Beatty chew a little scenery and do a variation on "wee, wee, wee."

And speaking of Donald Hamilton, as I was above, the plot of Hunter's book and movie reminded me a little of Hamilton's excellent standalone Line of Fire. I haven't read that one in a while, so maybe I'm wrong about any similarity. Still, I'm willing to bet that Hunter's read Hamilton.

Even Judy, no fan of action movies, liked Shooter. Ignore those pesky critics and check it out.


Anonymous said...

Internet gun nuts have been whining and moaning about the casting of Wahlberg and the changes in character and plot. I figure Wahlberg is a good actor and I look forward to seeing the picture. I even skipped most of your comments in fear of ruining any surprises.

Unknown said...

Wahlberg is younger than Bob Lee Swagger in the book, but the updating takes care of that, I think.

Mark Finn said...

Cathy and I really liked it, as well, despite its wearing its politics on its sleeve. My favorite part was when he shot that guy in the head...oh, wait a second. That was most of the movie. "I've still got the shovel" was priceless.

Unknown said...

I think the politics were emphasized more in the movie than in the book, but I could be misremembering. Lots of shooting, though.