A review of “Shooter” by Jeanne Aufmuth


Stars: ** 1/2

Rating: R for language and loads of violence

Run Time: 2 hours, 6 minutes



          Yummy Mark Wahlberg turns a hackneyed action-adventure into a stand-up-and-take-notice thriller.

          Special Forces Marine Bob Lee Swagger (mucho swaggering Wahlberg) buries himself in retirement after an Ethiopian intelligence mission goes south and his shooting partner ends up with a bullet in his brain. Ouch.

          Three years into Swagger’s self-imposed exile in the Rocky Mountains the government comes calling (in the form of a mushed-mouth Danny Glover) and begs his crack-shot services as a protection expert for the current President.

          Naturally it’s a cover for a more fiendish scheme and the cynical Swagger suddenly finds himself on the wrong end of the law. But what’s a little conspiracy when you’ve got the skills to take down the entire operation?

          Joyfully silly sub-plots abound; Swagger joining forces with a disillusioned FBI rookie (Michael Peňa) who mistakenly uncovers a Big Internal Secret, Swagger seeking out his late partner’s wife (Kate Mara) for refuge and falling deeply in lust, etc.

          Wahlberg oozes charisma from every pore and sweat-glistened pec, no matter that they shoot him short or that his dialogue is spoon-fed directly into the mouths of 18-25 year-old males, i.e. “Welcome to Tennessee, the patron saint of shooting stuff”.

          Paranoia, betrayal, double-crosses and huge dollops of testosterone all accounted for as Swagger takes one for the team and still manages to elude the competition. Multiple climaxes finally settle on a way to end the damn thing and not a moment too soon. Bottom line the bad guys are bad and the guns are smokin’ hot; hey, that’s why they call it a thriller!