Shooter is a political thriller action thing by Antoine Fuqua, director of the okay-ish Training Day and the shit-ish King Arthur. It stars Mark Wahlberg, who turned out to be pretty awesome in The Departed and in this he’s a whispery sniper coaxed out of hiding by the government to do… something… but ends up a patsy for the assassination of some African dude.
It’s all set up pretty well with Mark sniping f00ls alongside his doomed spotter buddy. There’s lots of nice exploding heads and, if this were a better movie that would be all there is. Lots and lots of Mark Wahlberg shooting people in the head. Snipers, by definiton, are awesome yet there is very little sniping in the movie. The middle of the flick drags on and on and on with Mark escaping the Feds, meeting up with his dead buddy’s cute widow, whom he rightfully doesn’t bed, and making friends with the one FBI guy who believes he’s innocent. There’s a chase scene and a rescue shoot-out during this long stretch that could have been may more exciting had Fuqua been interested at all in instilling EXCITEMENT rather than the heaviest left wing bitching I’ve seen in a genre movie this year yet.
Thought George Bush asking for a Ding Dong in Transformers was pushing it?
In Shooter Ned Beatty, Otisberg himself, returns from the Forgotten Old Actors Netherworld as Dick Cheney. The movie says he’s some random evil U.S. Senator but bullshit on that, he’s fucking Dick Cheney. Fat, old, bald, snarling, he hunts ducks, revels in misery and downs cocktails stirred for him by his gay John Waters-looking butler. Gazing at Beatty’s Cheney look-alike longingly, it’s about as subtle as a dick in the face. He’s only in one single shot but it’s held for so long it tells more about this movie’s attitude toward our current administration than any amount of hamfisted dialogue about how much good our government does by fucking Africans and poor people in their collective cornchute.
It’s a good thing movies are protected under that nice freedom of speech thing otherwise Cheney himself would lock Fuqua up in his dungeon of gay delights and sodomize the hell out of him only taking breaks for eating custard made from the blood of Ethiopians out of a child’s open skull (any will do), kept alive by on-the-clock injections of adrenaline and Satan’s own horn clippings. Horrible? Disgusting? That’s the U.S. government in Shooter, a collective of toothy-grinned psychopaths and rapists.
And I understand. People are frustrated. I fear for our nation’s future as much as the next lazy Colbert fan. Danny Glover phones in an equally egregious government monster, the blood of entire nations on his hands and he, until Mark rains down sweet vigilante vengeance in the coda, gets off scott free. A miscarriage of justice? In today’s world? My god, it’s like they’re culling stories from today’s headlines! GUUHhhhhhh.
I’ve had enough preaching and I’ve had more than enough of the grisly, bleak reality we inhabit. Seeing it mirrored tenfold in what should be a goddamn action flick is no fun. I want Mark Wahlberg shooting things. Considering its setup, this could’ve and should’ve been Commando for the 21st century. Shooter’s rated R but you wouldn’t guess that until the limp-wristed climax when some decent gunshot-inflicted amputations finally occur. It’s awfully tame and kind of a gyp. If your action movie gets an R-rating you should take that shit for all its worth!
But Fuqua has no clue how to pace or stage action. Anyone who’s seen the supreme abortion that is King Arthur can attest to that. Where there should be blood splatter, there’s no blood splatter. No gratification. No style. He has no trademark, at least none that I can see. Maybe his lack of style is his style? The meandering score does nothing to help either. It’s poor man’s Harry Gregson-Williams. Poor man fucked by Dick Cheney’s Harry Gregson-Williams.
Really, I shouldn’t expect much from someone named Antoine.