Who says you can’t fight City Hall? In Shooter, the new film from Training Day director Antoine Fuqua, Mark Wahlberg plays the excellently named Bobby Lee Swagger who not only fights City Hall, but burns it down, shoots it up and leaves it for dead.
Swagger is a former Marine scout sniper who quit the military after his commanding officer left him and his partner unprotected during a dangerous (and illegal) mission in Ethiopia. Post army he leads a quiet life in the mountains, hanging out with his super-cute dog and reading conspiracy theory books, until the day he is visited by a Colonel who asks for his help in quelling an sophisticated assassination attempt on the President. Allowing his patriotism to get the best of him he reluctantly agrees to help. What he doesn’t know is that he’s being set up as a fall guy in an elaborate government plot that makes the Kennedy Assassination look like an episode of Matlock. To clear his name he goes all Rambo against the men who set him up and the body count grows as he exacts his revenge.
Shooter is over-the-top melodrama that relies on action and kinetics to cover up a ridiculous story. As the lone gunman Swagger is positively super-human in his ability to out wit, out smart and out play the various government agencies that want him dead. We are asked to believe that his military training equipped him to become a one-man militia, taking on the might of the army with items bought in convenience stores and Wal Marts. His teacher must have been McGuyver.
Bullet holes aren’t the only holes in Shooter, the plot is full of them, but Fuqua keeps the energy up and fills the screen with enough snappy visuals to engage the eye, even if the mind wanders.