I watched the flick Shooter last night, a thriller starring Mark Wahlberg. The first 2/3 of the movie was bad. The last third was even worse, just amazingly awful. Did they write the script for this movie before or after they started filming? What was Wahlberg thinking? Time does not permit me to list all the ridiculous aspects of this film but I thought I would list the top five:
[***spoilers, though there is not much here to spoil***]
1. Having the sidekick FBI agent smoke out the bad guy snipers by walking out in the open as a target. What a great plan! I would be a very reluctant sidekick in this situation. “Wait a second, so I walk out there and wait until they shoot me and THEN you shoot them? Could you maybe look through your binoculars and shoot them BEFORE they shoot me? What, you say I can wear a metal plate on my chest? You’re the retired expert Marine sniper and I’m just a green FBI agent, but don’t snipers aim at the head?” Fortunately, the bad guy sniper shoots at his chest, right where the plate is! Then our hero shoots the exposed sniper, plus a couple more he finds in his binocs.
2. Having the bad guys decide the best way to assassinate the Archbishop of Ethiopia is to wait until he’s standing on a podium with the President of the United States. I know what you’re thinking: the Archbishop of Ethiopia? Yep, and that didn’t make the top five.
3. Having the bad guys massacre a village of 400 Ethiopians to pave the way for an oil pipeline. Because you could never move the pipeline 200 feet to the left. Or right. There is hardly any open space in Ethiopia. It must go through this massive village! I know what you’re thinking: an oil pipeline in Ethiopia? Yep, and that didn’t make the top five either.
4. Having a U.S. Senator who has a private army. Okay, okay, that’s standard action movie ridiculousness. Let’s make #4 about the widow of our hero’s old sniper partner. He turns to her when he has nowhere else to go. There is this vast conspiracy to frame him for the attempted assassination of the President yet the conspirators fail to consider he might seek sanctuary with the widow of his only friend in the world (except for the mystery person who feeds his dog while he’s gone). The nation’s entire law enforcement apparatus is looking for him (and has a dossier about him that’s five feet thick) but nobody thinks to check her house. And neither does our hero ever consider the possibility the bad guys will find her — as they eventually do after he has moved on to begin his revenge tour. (They didn’t find her earlier, they explain, because she’d gone back to her maiden name. Seriously.)
5. The U.S. Park Service allowing the assassination scene to be filmed in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. On the bright side, the best part of the DVD is the Park Service featurette on Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. They say they hope this movie will inspire people to visit Philadelphia and Independence Hall. I might go. Forget the Declaration of Independence and all that stuff — I’ve always wanted to see the spot where, in an exceptionally bad movie, a rogue group of ex-soldiers working for an evil U.S. Senator assassinated the Archbishop of Ethiopia.