Shooter (3 stars)

(15) 125min


More adventures for Mark Wahlberg at the frontline of flawed American foreign policy. Here he swaps the Iraqi desert of Three Kings for the African coast. When a mission ends with the death of his best mate and spotter (the human equivalent of a marksman’s guide dog), Bob Lee Swagger (Wahlberg) returns home disgruntled and disillusioned. When Colonel Issac Johnson (Danny Glover) turns up and plays the patriot card, Swagger finds himself in the position of John Rambo in First Blood, but should he trust the men who let him down and left his best friend to die?

It’s an exhilarating if fairly unoriginal opening salvo (especially to anyone who watches 24 on a regular basis) and it’s only when Swagger goes on the run that the film begins to unravel. That Shooter is far better than can be expected is down to the excellent direction of Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, King Arthur). He marries action movie clichés with a subversive sense of paranoia and humour. It’s also nice to see the great Ned Beatty (Deliverence, Superman II) still in gainful employment here as an evil senator, while the always excellent Elias Koteas completes an impressive cast of establishment villains.

General release from Fri 13 Apr.

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