Director: Antoine Fuqua
Running time: 120 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15
UK Release date: 13th April 2007
Watched on DVD Sunday 3rd July 2011.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
This film is based on a novel by Stephen Hunter caller “Point of Impact”. It charts the betrayal of a marine sniper and his efforts to clear his name. Originally set around the time of the Vietnam War, the film brings events up to date and into the 21st Century. There’s plenty of action and explosions, and even a damsel in distress, so it covers most of the bases. I’ll give you my thoughts after a brief summary.
Marine sniper, Bob Lee Swagger is on a mission in Africa when is spotter, and best friend, Donnie Fenn is killed. Left to die by his superiors, he eventually gets out and immediately resigns his commission. Three years later he’s living alone in the mountains with his dog when a Colonel Isaac Johnson comes to him with a proposal. There has been a threat on the President and they believe only a highly trained sniper could carry it out. They want Swagger to scout out possible locations and report back to them. They play on his patriotism and eventually he agrees. On the day the threat is due to become real; they insist he attends in order to advise them. Little does Swagger know, he is about to be set up. Injured, he escapes and, with the help of a couple of friends, he plots his revenge.
A very well made film with some nice action scenes, stunt work and CGI. A decent plot with plenty of twists and turns, not all of them too predictable, thankfully. Performance wise, I thought Mark Wahlberg did a decent job as Bob Lee Swagger, as did Michael Peña as FBI agent Nick Memphis. Of the bad guys, the pick of the bunch were, Danny Glover as Colonel Isaac Johnson and Ned Beatty as Senator Charles F. Meachum. Oh, and I should also mention the damsel in distress, Kate Mara as Sarah Fenn.
As revenge thrillers go, this is pretty run-of-the-mill stuff. There are no stand-out performances, outstanding dialogue or even radical plot-twists. One thing that did strike me though, was the total lack of humour, not even one wise-crack from a bad guy… quite disappointing. But having said all that, it does do what it says on the tin and I did find it quite entertaining. It’s never going to win any prizes, but still… Recommended.
My Score: 6.7/10