A screwy assassination thriller for these murky times, it takes half its pages from Soldier of Fortune and the other half from links provided by conspiracytheories-zapoppin.org. For a while it's entertaining to watch
For years Wahlberg has been turning into a real actor, and if he ever gets the action hero role he deserves, we'll let you know. Here he plays a rather generic lone wolf, Bob Lee Swagger. The story was adapted by screenwriter Jonathan Lemkin from a Stephen Hunter book called "Point of Impact," one of three Swagger novels to date. Hunter, also
In "Shooter," mid-manhunt, Swagger and FBI man Nick Memphis (Pena) visit a rural gun whiz played by Levon Helm of The Band. Casually the old-timer mentions that he was the one who buried the bodies of the grassy knoll shooters on Nov. 22, 1963. "I still have the shovel!" Helm says. It's a throwaway line, but in this odd blend of "Rambo" and "Three Days of the Condor," it's also the highlight.
You can sense the filmmakers trying to establish a franchise with "Shooter," a lower and more vicious variation on the "Bourne" pictures. But the two "Bourne" movies really moved; they worked on your nervous system without resorting to brutality every other shot, and they had the fiscal advantage of playing to all ideological corners of the world multiplex. I doubt the same will hold true for "Shooter." Its ideal audience is that of longtime Soldier of Fortune subscribers who may not renew because they've been feeling a little conflicted about world affairs lately.
The good cast includes