MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -4

Mark Wahlberg, Michael Pena, Danny glover, Kate Mara, Elias Koteas, Rhona Mitra, Ned Beatty. Action/drama. Written by Jonathan Lemkin. Directed by Antoine Fuqua.

FILM SYNOPSIS: This action/thriller has Mark Wahlberg as a former army sniper who leaves the military when a mission goes bad. After he is reluctantly pressed back into service, he is double-crossed. Hunted and wounded, he begins his revenge, which will take down powerful people in the government.

PREVIEW REVIEW: The Sea Chase stars John Wayne as the skipper of a boat that becomes infested with rats. They land on a deserted island and come up with a unique method of getting the vermin to leave the ship. As they sail off, one of the crew says hed hate to come back in twenty years the implication being that the varmints would take over and destroy the once beautiful isle. Objectionable content has been allowed to do the same to movies in about the same period of time. In some films, savage style has taken precedence over substance (Kill Bill, Sin City), while lewdness masks itself as comedy in others (American Pie), profane and obscene language infest some (Glengarry Glen Ross), and desensitizing violence has become the main element in still others (The Departed). I mention those films because they were actually considered acceptable movie fare by both critics and audiences, alike. A generation before each of these films was released moviegoers would have been shocked had the studios been allowed to make them. Now moviemakers are more apt to place their focus on excessive content than on story or moral.

This leads up to the nail-biter Shooter. Mark Wahlberg is a cross between Rambo and James Bond, a killing machine constructed by the U.S. government to sniper kill those who threaten world peace. Production values, direction and star all come together to give audiences an engrossing espionage thriller. But the filmmakers incorporate graphic violence to the point that it overwhelms both story and viewer. Heads bust apart like melons from the bullets of a sharpshooter, necks are broken by stealth-like assassins, and lots of folks get incinerated by fire bombs. Baddies torture innocents, a rogue soldier rapes and beats the heroine, she in turn kills a wounded, helpless villain and the lead dispassionately shoots a wounded man begging for his life. In the end justice is left to a renegade because the law has become impotent.

What becomes somewhat amusing is the fact that the producers couldnt refrain from making this a political action adventure. While killing off an army of no-goodnicks with all the zeal of Rambo, the writer also jabs the present administration, and America in general. Its a cynical, conspiratorial movie where the military and covert services sacrifice their best people for no apparent reason other than the release of their barbarous nature. And of course, the really, really bad guys are the political leaders the ones who wear the lapel flags. In other words, those nasty old hypocritical conservatives.

Well, who knows, maybe the filmmakers are justified. Maybe the FBI, the Secret Service, the Military and our President are all controlled by Rupert Murdock or Karl Rove or Bill OReilley. Must be, because anti-leadership movies never seem to get made when a Democrat is in the Oval office.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: Around 20 obscenities, mostly the f-word.

Profanity: Two profane uses of Gods name by really, really evil guys.

Violence: From head to toe. People meet with grim, gory and graphic demises by assassination, martial arts, countless shootings, beatings, and gas bombs. A good man is tortured, a pretty woman is raped and beaten, driven to becoming a killer herself, and the lead kills dispassionately. A man commits suicide this is a jolting scene, very graphic. Blood: Oh, a lot of blood.

Sex: There are two beautiful women in this movie, but all the guys would rather kill people.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: A villain says some objectionable comments to a woman he is holding hostage.

Drugs: None

Other: The film sets up a situation depicting the attempted assassination of a world leader.

Running Time: 124 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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