Political Film Society - Shooter

PFS Film Review


ShooterBob Lee Swagger (played by Mark Wahlberg), whose name suggests the memory of Lee Harvey Oswald, can shoot targets at very long distances. At the beginning of Shooter, directed by Antoine Fuqua, he is a Marine Sergeant defending American troops from an ambush in the Eritrean part of Ethiopia but left for dead when the secret operation goes awry, whereupon he retires to a remote cabin in the British Columbia Rockies. Three years later, retired Colonel Isaac Johnson (played by Danny Glover) recruits him to identify where another sniper might be holed up in a plot recently uncovered to kill the president from a distance of more than a mile. But the assassin instead kills the Archbishop of Ethiopia, and Swagger becomes the FBI’s prime suspect. On the run, he is aided by a girlfriend Sarah Fenn (played by Kate Mara), widow of his partner who died in the Eritrean operation, and FBI agent Nick Memphis (played by Michael Peña), who gets a taste of Abu Ghraib-style torture due to his belief that Swagger is not the real suspect. Swagger’s mission of vengeance then is to ascertain who set up him and why. Amid the MacGyverish firepower unleashed by Swagger, the conspiracy turns out to involve several others, including cynical Montana Senator Charles F. Meachum (played by Ned Beatty), who is unusually candid about the hijacking of American politics by fat cats. Swagger learns that the Eritrea caper involved the slaughter of an entire village to frighten other villagers into accepting an oil pipeline and other dirty deeds wherein corporate America can triumph over the people. The Political Film Society has nominated Shooter for best film of 2007 highlighting the need for greater democracy. The film is based on the novel Point of Impact (1993) by Stephen Hunter. MH

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