Faring even worse is Danny Glover as Colonel Isaac Johnson, a contractor who sets Swagger up to take the fall, finding himself uttering such inane lines as, literally, “I win. You lose. Again!” The indignities continue: Veteran character actor Ned Beatty is saddled with equally offensive dialogue. Following a memorably nuanced supporting turn in Zodiac, Elias Koteas is reduced to playing Johnson's lascivious henchman. And, after her lovely breakout in We Are Marshall, Kate Mara is given little more to do here than run around in her skivvies. Only one amusing scene featuring Levon Helm as a backwater munitions expert and conspiracy nut features a character or dialogue that are remotely interesting.
Fuqua's filmmaking and storytelling are equally frustrating, with visual trickery such as slo mo abused to the point of parody and stylized combat hysterically out of place amid the movie's pastoral mountain settings. A car chase through the streets of Philadelphia generates about as much as excitement as those captured nightly on the evening news; details of Swagger's escape are glossed over; and too much time is spent attending to a gunshot wound to his shoulder. Most egregiously, Shooter ends on a coda with a fatalistic worldview that would give even the most bleeding-heart of liberals pause.
Perhaps Paramount, which did such a horrible misdeed to the Jack Ryan franchise with 2002's
The Sum of All Fears, smelled another political intrigue series in the making, as
is based on
Point of Impact, the first book in a trilogy by Pulitzer Prize winner and, ironically, Washington Post film critic Stephen Hunter. More likely, however, is the rumored sequel to
starring the only man left standing.
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Michael Pena, Danny Glover, Kate Mara, Elias Koteas, Rhona Mitra, Rade Sherbedgia and Ned Beatty
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Screenwriter: Jonathan Lemkin
Producers: Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Ric Kidney
Rating: R for strong graphic violence and some language
Running time: 125 min.
Release date: March 23, 2007