Shooter (15)

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The Independent Culture

Mark Wahlberg stars in Shooter (15, 126 mins) as a retired marine sniper who's framed for an assassination attempt on the President. For a while, the story flees down the same route as The Bourne Identity and The Fugitive, allowing us to thrill to the lone hero's ingenuity, and learn how to treat a bullet wound with the contents of a grocery bag. But it's the focus of the film's first half which makes the sprawling second half such a let-down. Gradually, the plot and the action become more and more overblown, until there are helicopters everywhere, and Wahlberg keeps walking away in slow motion as buildings explode behind him. I suppose it makes sense that a film about a sniper should be at its best when he's furtive and precise. By the time he's using bombs and napalm to slaughter everyone in sight, Shooter is way off target.