Ahh, nothing like a sniper flick to pass the time on a slow day!
Mark Wahlberg plays Bob Lee Swagger, a gunnery sergeant in the Marines, who, if I may quote Jonny Lee Miller in Trainspotting, is ?an evil shot?. Swagger and his partner, Donnie, are on a mission in Ethiopia, where they get swept up in some kind of battle. Now, being the marksman that he is, Swagger starts shooting the targets. The targets shoot back. Poor Donnie is killed by counter fire, and Swagger decides to go for the gusto and fire at everything in his path.
Guilt ridden, Swagger goes into seclusion in a house in a gorgeous mountainous region. Three years later, a Colonel Johnson (Danny Glover) and his governmental cohorts come calling. Swagger’s reputation has preceded him. Johnson has a proposition: there is allegedly a plot for a sniper to assassinate the President at one of his public speeches, narrowed down to three locations. Basically, the Colonel wants to know how the sniper would plan and execute it, thus the need for Swagger. Does Swagger still have the dead eye to duplicate that kind of shot? Yes, indeedy! Swagger conducts a series of surveillance missions to expertly recreate when is thought to be done.
Cut to the site of the speech and alleged assassination attempt in a Philadelphia park. The President is set to speak after an Ethiopian archbishop, when the shots are fired. However, the entire crew (which includes local cops) ends up being a bunch of double-crossers and have pinned it all on Swagger.
Now, Swagger has to go on the run again for the assassination attempt, plus he has to find what?s really the catalyst for the entire thing. The Feds, though, are trying their hardest to make sure that he, and only he, takes the rap for it. That is, if he survives. Along for the ride is a lackluster FBI agent (Michael Pena), who learns a little too much about the goings-on, and Donnie’s widow (Kate Mara), the only person Swagger thinks he can turn to.
The action scenes were pretty good, and whoever was doing the stunt shooting was incredible. The underlying plot itself, as well as the outcome, was predictable. I guessed how it would go down halfway through the film. No big surprises or major plot twists. The format was followed closely.
If you really don’t have anything else to see or do, go ahead and see this film, or wait until it?s out on DVD. With all of the chases and shooting, it’s good for a couple of hours of mindless entertainment.
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