Shooter - Shoot to Kill

Duration: 124min
Category: action
Available: On DVD
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Director Antoine Fuqua is barely a step above Michael Bay. He makes Paul Haggis look subtle and discreet. His overrated Training Day was a disaster of ham acting, ridiculous situations and heavy handed direction. Shooter, believe it or not, is a downgrade from there.

At the heart of Shooter is a bad story. Itís too predictable on the one hand and corny on the other. Itís conspiracy theory over the top and it just doesnít all fit together. There are too many obvious plot holes and too many occasions where you just canít believe it. A bad story is enough to sink a film but it gets worse from there.

In Shooter everyone is one note. Itís clear from the moment they walk on the screen who they are and if they are good and bad. There is no in between and no one is more complicated than that. They all wear their motivations on their sleeves and waive their arms dramatically to indicate it. Itís hard not to roll your eyes while watching crap like this.

Fuqua gets good action and when the film is in action mode it works, but this is also the kind of film where there are no surprises. Itís hard to be on the edge of your seat when you know the good guys will prevail and the bad guys will get theirs. Itís just not good enough anymore to tell such pedestrian stories. Why should be care when we know how it will end?

So weíve got a preposterous story and cardboard characters. What else is wrong with Shooter? Well there is all the bad acting. What happened to Danny Glover? This man used to be an actor. He used to have a voice too but watch this film and tell me, does he ever get above a whisper? And is he wearing a retainer? Listen to him in this film. It sounds like heís got taffy in his mouth.

Then there is Elias Koteas who doesnít seem to be able to play anyone but a creep. Does he understand the word ďtypecasting?Ē Itís been a long time since Exotica. Find a new shtick, Elias.

Then there is the talented but underused Kate Mara. Sheís only there to look cute, sexually satisfy the hero, be violated by the bad guys and be there to be rescued so the hero is even more of a hero. This film makes 300 look feminist. Itís too bad too because I think this actress has a lot of talent and I hope she finds better roles in the future.

But the absolute worst thing about Shooter is the ending. Iím spoil it for you so stop reading here if you donít want to know. In the end, the bad guys get away with it so the ďheroĒ takes his gun and shoots them all like dogs. Yup. Thatís the justice this film advocates.

Bad acting, bad story, bad writing, bad characterization, bad morals. It all adds up to one bad film. Whatever you do avoid this mess. Pick something else at the multiplex. Put down the box and walk away in Blockbuster. If you stumble across it on TV, change the channel. Change flights if they show it on yours.

Review By: Collin Smith

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