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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.

Shooter (2007) on IMDb

Plot Overview

battered crossSome suit at a U.S. Army camp in Lemonier, Ethiopia is running a black ops “peace­keeping” mission “eight klicks inside a country we're not supposed to be in.” There was no hostility to pacify, but “the villagers didn't think that an oil pipe­line was a good enough reason to move their village,” so now it's being burnt to the ground as twenty-four mercenaries beat a retreat in five vehicles. Guarding their exit are two highly trained snipers, USMC Gunnery Sergeant Bob Lee Swagger (Mark Wahlberg) and his friend & spotter Donnie Fenn (Lane Garrison.) Donnie shows Bob Lee a picture of his wife Sarah (Kate Mara) who's about to attend a nursing school in Astoria, Oregon.

house on a hillWhen hostiles attack they fight them off but are left to fend for them­selves and Donnie is killed. Swagger retires from the corps and settles in an isolated cabin in Wyoming where, “I'm just a pecker­wood who lives in the hills with too many guns.” He's reading The 9/11 Commission Report and perusing on-line news to “see what kind of lies they're trying to sell us today.” (“They also said that artificial sweeteners were safe, WMDs were in Iraq and Anna Nicole married for love.”) An enigmatic Colonel Isaac John­son (Danny Glover) tracks him down and plays on his sense of patriotic duty to become an ad hoc advisor on a suspected assassination plot. He is really being set up as a patsy along the lines of a Brad Taylor thriller where:

He was nothing but a contractor, hired precisely to prevent Mossad finger­prints on the operation in question. He was a piece of tissue the Mossad used to blow its nose and, once soiled, easy to toss aside. But his partner in Israel was some­thing altogether different. She cared about him. (33)

Once the assassination goes down, he's treated like snot. Wounded and on the run, he turns to nurse Sarah and a friendly fibbie for help.


Point man in the conspiracy is Col. John­son “the right man for the job.” He's an inter­national trouble­shooter brought on board by corrupt senator Charles Meachum (Ned Beatty) to help an oil company clean its dirty laundry. John­son might actually be a colonel, but that's not established. His real name is … well, he's used so many names nobody really knows. He's replace­able as part of a con­glom­er­ate, so we won't put much stock in his rank. His only set characteristics are his Negroid features that he can't change, though we'd hardly call him an African-American. It's uncertain he's an American national, nor is he American at heart the way he disparages democracy. And he doesn't sympathize with his African kin either, the way he regards 400 villagers slaughtered: men, women & children. He is Col. K. N. Nobody. He's a cipher.

This “colonel,” though, is loquacious to a fault. He tells his acolytes after Swagger refused his offer that, “He said yes. Just doesn't know it yet.” In verbal sparring his refrain is, “I win, you lose.” And ultimately he maintains, “The truth is what I say it is.”

ole glorySwagger is the patriotic fool twice over. A highly trained instrument who yields to authority despite evidence of their mal­feasance. He's also foolish in love, slow on the uptake with the pretty widow who'd gotten over her grief and likes military men.

These two principals pitted against each other will provide a real test of, (Prov. 29:20) “Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.”

Production Values

” (2007) was directed by Antoine Fuqua. Its screenplay was written by Jonathan Lemkin based on Stephen Hunter's novel, Point of Impact. It stars Mark Wahlberg, Michael Peña, and Kate Mara. Wahlberg out­does him­self as a soldier long on endurance; he's especially good at internal­izing his angst. Peña gives a fresh take on the side­kick motif; he's a quick learner. Mara plays a hill­billy widow who doesn't take kindly to being kid­napped; she knows how to shoot. The sup­port cast is all one could ask for. Levon Helm spices up the story por­traying a seasoned fire­arms expert with a wry sense of humor.

Liberty BellMPAA rated it R for strong graphic violence and some language. The TV version is a little tamer than the theatrical release. Part of it was filmed in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. Assassination footage was shot in historic Phila­delphia—the city of brotherly love, no less. Locations portrayed involved trips by plane, train and auto. It's 124 minutes long.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

This thriller moves right along, developing tensions from multiple directions. There's plenty of gun­play as well as tactical discussion. The characters come across as their own persons rather than imitations from other movies. The main character likes his old dog and protects his new woman. It's an engaging movie with plenty of action. I liked it big time.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action-packed. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quotation was from the Authorized King James Version (KJV.) Pub. 1611. Rev. 1769. Software.

Taylor, Brad. Operator Down. Copyright © 2018 by Brad Taylor. New York: Dutton. Print.