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Movie Review

Shooter a.k.a. “Point of Impact”

MPAA Rating: R for violence and language

Reviewed by: Rev. Grant Wright
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Thriller, Action, Drama, Adaptation
Length:
2 hr. 4 min.
Year of Release:
2007
USA Release:
March 23, 2007 (wide)
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Paramount Pictures

How does viewing violence in movies affect the family? Answer

murder in the Bible

death

lying

Featuring: Mark Wahlberg, Michael Peña, Danny Glover, Kate Mara, Elias Koteas, Rhona Mitra, Rade Sherbedgia, Ned Beatty
Director: Antoine Fuqua—“Training Day” (2001), “Olympus Has Fallen” (2013), “The Equalizer” (2014)
Producer: Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Distributor: Paramount Pictures

“Yesterday was about honor. Today is about justice.”

“Shooter” is a movie of action, conspiracy and revenge. This film is not nearly as memorable as the “Bourne” movies, not as tacky as “Rambo” and enough conspiracy nastiness to squeeze a full season of “24” into a feature length movie.

Bob Lee Swagger (Mark Wahlberg) is a former marine sniper in early retirement because of a military cover up that left him in enemy territory. He is pressured back into service by a patriotic commander (Danny Glover) to defend the President’s life. This is, of course, a façade to frame him as an assassin to become the government’s fall guy. Bob Lee is no average guy though and manages to escape with only two major bullet wounds. As he speedily recovers (what seems like a day or two), he plans his revenge.

This is an entertaining flick, but I’d wait for it on DVD. I think the primary audience will be guys who like action movies and like guns and don’t look too hard for holes in the story. There is plenty of violence, the f-bomb is it used in abundance (mostly spoken by government dignitaries) and no real redemption. There is no nudity; you do, however, see a woman in a bra a few times.

The underlying theme, at the end, is that some atrocities cannot be handled by the justice system, but can be with a bullet. I don’t think this is a message we should be advocating, but I don’t want to encourage ignorance either. I am well aware that wars and atrocities will always occur until our Lord returns, and there are only some measures that deal with these issues with finality. That being said, there is no forgiveness in this film, and that is something to ponder after viewing.

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Minor


Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—First and foremost, I disagree with some of these reviewers. The language (very surprisingly) was kept to a minimum. I’ve seen plenty of PG-13 flicks with more foul language. In “Shooter,” the Lord’s name is taken in vain a few times, and the F-bomb is dropped a couple more, but… that’s about it. In a film where they could have easily soured it with incessant cursing, the filmmakers opted not to… and let me tell you, it was a breath of fresh air.

There’s no sexuality. There was an implied scene of rape, but nothing, and I repeat, NOTHING was shown. Other than that, I can’t even recall there being the obligatory smooch scene with the protoganist’s woman. Yes, every action flick has its hero, and every action hero has his babe. “Shooter” is no exception.

What I love about “Shooter” (beyond the acting, scenery, effects, explosions, shootouts, plot, the dog, etc.) is that it’s a realistic film. Nothing was over the top. E.g. the (also obligatory in this genre) car chase sequence wasn’t inundated with oodles of car pile-ups, explosions, wreckless fender-bendering, etc.—it was just right. And that’s just it. “Shooter” is a solid action flick that’s never too much, never boring, never static. I’d love to see it again… several times.
My Ratings: Average / 5
—Jacob Keenum, age 20
Positive—“Shooter” is a well made film that is VERY entertaining. From the very beginning the film captures your attention and doesn’t let go. As far as objectionable content, this is what I can remember: Sex-A woman wears a very see-through white tee-shirt which leaves little to the imagination. She later wears a SHORT skirt and tight, low cut top-really revealing. And still later, she is shown taking off her top and for the next 20 or so minutes she is shown in her bra (she is shown off and on because of circumstances beyond her control)… there is also “insinuation” that she was raped. Violence-a lot of violence. War related which is reality and a vivid depiction of a man’s had getting shot off… also lots of gun fire and explosions. Graphic. Political-there are a few left wing wacko liberal mentionings… war for oil blah blah blah etc… Basically a great movie entertainment wise. It gets moving early on which is awesome and does not disappoint.
My Ratings: Offensive / 5
—Angel, age 22
Positive—“Shooter” was actually a lot of fun. What a great time at the movies! Mark Wahlberg does a terrific job as Bob Lee Swagger, and the supporting cast is excellent as well.

In terms of “offensive” content, the film had less than 10 “f” words (surprising! with other films like “I Think I Love My Wife” apparently—according to ScreenIt—having over 60 “f” words, and, with the exception of “Zodiac,” every R-rated movie that comes out usually having over 40 “f” words), and about 3 G-damns. Along with less than 10 “s” words. Pretty tame for an R-rated movie.

In terms of sexual content, it’s extremely tame. So tame that you could see it in a PG movie. All I remember seeing that could possibly be “offensive” is a girl in her bra while getting dressed; it wasn’t during any kind of sexual encounter (no sex in this movie either by the way).

Now violence, on the other hand, might be an issue. It’s pretty bloody and graphic, but then again, it’s an action movie where the main character is an expert sniper. I don’t actually believe that people go into an R-RATED ACTION MOVIE titled “Shooter” expecting no graphic violence at all. Do they actually expect a sniper to shoot someone in the head and no blood come out? Do they go in a movie like this expecting fluffy bunnies dancing around sniffing dandelions and casablanca lilies? Either way, whoever wants to see this movie should know by the trailers that there’s violence in the movie. Not excessive gorey bloody violence like any horror-thriler. They shouldn’t go in expecting some fluffy unrealistic war film. Just go in expecting a fun-filled action film with violence and you’ll be fine.

I also realized that the film could be seen as a good Christian film. ***SPOILERS AHEAD*** Danny Glover and his minions are part of a team that goes around raping people, killing innocents, etc. etc. Such people are read about in the bible. They think they could get away with no harm, but in the end, a hero like God (but in the movie its Mark Wahlberg) comes to punish the wicked sinners of all their wrongdoing and has no mercy. We should all learn to finally take a stand and bring evil down. It seriously reminded me of what I read in the Bible as I watching it. Pretty cool.

And if that can’t be seen as promoting “good,” then I don’t know what is. This world is so deep in darkness, and evil and they don’t even want to do good or know of it. The film is very true and harsh. They deserve a chance if they actually want to do good, but if they don’t, then they definitely need to be brought down. Too bad Bob Lee Swagger is a fictional character. But the characters that Danny Glover and Elias Koteas play definitely aren’t. ***SPOILERS END***

This film has good intentions from what I saw. It promotes doing good and bringing evil its just deserts. Good film. Definitely worth 10 bucks. Just expect some cussing and violence. Just like the R rating warns. A fun night at the movies. Or a powerful inspiring night at the movies. Whichever way you want to see it. …
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Derek, age 25
Neutral
Neutral—I never, in all of my days, would have guessed that the former lead singer of an early 90’s white rap band would be one of my favorite actors, 15 years down the line. You probably have no idea who I am talking about but Mark Wahlberg, former lead singer of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, has done just that. Although he got a rough start with films like Planet of the Apes, he certainly has shaped himself into a tough, rough, and strong actor. “Shooter” compliments this fact, and will earn him a higher mark on his reputation chain.

“Shooter” runs as a film that reminds me a lot of Matt Damon and his Bourne series, with its use of a variety of weapons and the common spy vs. spy mentality. No one can be trusted, and as soon the government must look to stop its only rouge agent looking for justice in the end. That would pretty much sum up the film in one sentence. Wahlberg looks to come out on the right side of the law, despite the obvious setup to take him down. Albeit, while it’s not the official USA government that plots to take him down, but rather a small unknown subsidiary headed by spooky actor Danny Glover, who talks as though he is wearing a retainer on his bottom teeth (Watch for this if you plan on seeing this film). Though it slightly resembles the Damon counterpart, “Shooter” doesn’t have the crazy twists or the heavy drama as Bourne. Here is where the family starts to resemble the Stallone classic of old: “Rambo.”

Rather than delve into the mastery of the vast network of spying and the genre of the like, “Shooter,” in essence, cuts to the chase. Wahlberg is a man bent on taking the people that framed him out, and I mean TAKING THEM OUT. Using his mastery in the art of gun, Wahlberg takes justice into his own hands as if saying, 'Why wont anybody just leave me alone?' The enemies in the film, unbeknown to them, have awoken the spirit of Rambo and it incarnated Wahlberg’s character. Homemade Napalms, smoke grenades, and an array of crudely crafted silencers accompany his collection of snipers he carries with him. Being the man I truly am, I would be lying to you if I didn’t tell you I enjoyed watching the good guy gradually eliminate his enemies with his uncanny arsenal of arms. This movie is essentially a man’s movie, with a slew of gore and violence to boot.

Before I get to that, I’d like to note that this movie is Rated R. The “F” word, my most hated word, appears roughly a dozen times, three times by Wahlberg (which is a certain breather after his 40+ times in his 20 minutes of screen time in The Departed. There is no nudity, although Kate Mara's character is seen in several scenes wearing very little clothing and in one scene there is an implied rape (although we never really know). As far as the violence, I couldn’t agree more with you if you don’t want to see this movie because of it. Several heads are ripped up and destroyed with a sniper’s dead eye bullet aim. Several bodies explode and are left charring in a grenade blast. In addition to the heads I mentioned earlier, several other characters are killed by a gun at close point range including death by shotgun (mmmm, you can imagine) and close range pistol. A man shoots himself at one point rather grotesquely. At times, it seems that Wahlberg has a cold heart and shows no mercy therefore looking like a man on a bloodlust no better than the enemies he pursues. Though, I wont give the director the credit for that much of a deep plot, it does cross your mind once or twice.

All in all, “Shooter” is basically an easily lade out movie with little or no thinking required. Much of the on screen time was spent writhing revenge all over the screen in the form of blood and gore. While I’m not too peeved about it, simply because I’ve been desensitized thanks to the likes of “We Were Soldiers” and “Flags of our Fathers”—it does indeed warrant a visible concern which I am voicing now. Therefore, I can wholeheartedly give this my stamp of approval simply because that while the film may be highly entertaining at times, especially to a man, the whole essence of the movie boils down little more than a rickety action flick. …
My Ratings: Offensive / 4
—Zachary A, age 19
Negative
Negative—This film contains what is to be expected for an R-rated action thiriller. I went into this film with the understanding that there would be some language and naturally a whole lot of explosive violence. In that respect it was indeed what I expected. I agree completely with a previous viewer that commented concerning the film being used as a platform for a political statement. I would go so far as to say that it serves as a platform for propaganda.

The film portrays the military, law enforcement and the government as any combination of sloppy, incompetent, unprofessional, evil, twisted or any negative attribute that can be used. It was clear througout the entirety of the movie that the one goal of the film was to sell unassuming veiwers and people with little knowledge of current events on radical ideas that the government is and has been behind some of the largest attrocities known to our country and to the world (i.e., WTC and 9-11, Katrina, Abu Graib, mass killings “for oil,” “war for oil,” holocost etc).

As far as this film being an action thriller, it was moderatly entertaining. As with most “Shootem up” movies you expect there to be a lot of action as well as a weak plot full of holes, and the viewer is not left dissappointed on either count.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 3
—Mark, age 25
Negative—Bottom line, this is a graphically violent film with little redeeming value. The Lord’s name is taken in vain throughout; I didn’t count the number of f-words, but there were too many. Worst of all, they are placed in dialog so poorly they stuck out even more as over the top. The violence is what you’d expect from a movie called “Shooter,” lots of bloody bullet wounds, very graphic. I can’t take the movie to task over the violence and swearing and the implied kidnap/rape section because this is what is being produced today and the R rating alerts you to that. I went to see this with a friend because it seemed the least offensive offering last night (other than “TMNT”). The theme of this thing is revenge revenge revenge and it is waved around like a flag. When the flag waves in reverse, the killing starts. The total lack of redemption or leaning on God when life goes unfailry is utterly lacking here. It’s so sad we refer to these as guy flicks because it implies guys feed on gore and revenge and of course the unredeemed mind has no other choice (Romans 8:5—Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires). I was sorry to see Danny Glover in this film as it seemed beneath him.

The only positive thing to be said is there is very little sexual content. Some will even argue with this as Kate Mara appears in several scenes in a bra. I was surprised by her acting prowess though, she was able to do whatever the scene demanded, rather impressive, hopefully she’ll get better roles in future films that are less graphically violent.

The story does take a coule of twists and they are typical spy novel twists, things you’d never think of on your own. The ending was furiously violent so be aware. One theme that the filim uses to justify itself is that a soldier is murdered by his own while in deep cover. Later the main character murders a couple of dozen soldiers but this is OK since he’s on a mission of justice/revenge. The bad guys are painted as patently immoral adding further to the justified killing.

Not exactly for children or a date with your honey.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 4
—Bob MacLean, age 58
Negative—In my opinion, the worst thing about this film is the very obvious slur against our government and military. It practically states in words that our government is totally corrupt in military and security matters, with direct references to Iraq, prisons and the extermination of certain groups of people, further promoting conspiracy theories that assume the worst. This is just about as blatant a political statement as you can get from Hollywood!… one more in a long line of anti-government, anti-war statements. From a moral standpoint, it actually starts out well, and then goes downhill toward the end with violence and the f-word. But again, the political statements are much more dangerous and far-reaching.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 4
—Steve H, age 53
Negative—This movie is typical Hollyweird trash. The military is evil as all post 60’s movies depict. There are two or three too many ending,s and I can’t figure out why they can’t make an action movie under 2 hours anymore. Very convoluted and stupid.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 2½
—Chris Nelson, age 40
Comments from young people
Negative—As an action movie, Shooter is great. It is well acted and directed, has a good plot and screenplay, and is a great ride. However, when its content and themes are considered, Shooter is not so great, and it is these two things that force me to give a negative review. Morally, this film doesn’t surprise considering that it is an R-rated action flick. There is a lot of violence and blood, and our ex-Marine hero kills without hesitation. The number of profanities isn’t high, but when there is profanity it is strong. I counted aroud ten f-words.

There is no sexuality or nudity besides a woman shown in a bra and some sexual tension between a kidnapper and his victim. Due to the language and violence, I would say that this film is only for mature audiences.

The themes and messages of this movie are probably its greatest strengths and greatest weaknesses. “Shooter” is a thought-provoking movie and raises many important questions about justice and taking the law into our own hands. However, the answers that it gives are dangerous.

If you have not yet seen this movie, I would recommend that you stop reading here and watch the film, provided that the content is acceptable to you. What I am about to talk about references the ending and you should see the movie without knowing how it will end. You should also think through its ideas for yourself before you hear what I have to say.

That said, let’s continue. The answers that Shooter gives to its questions are dangerous, maybe even deadly. No one wants a movie to end with the bad guys getting away, but I think that Shooter should have ended in this way. Because of the laws of our country, the villains could not be punished in court and thus were let free. The attorney general apologized to Bob Lee Swagger (our hero, played by Mark Wahlberg) and said that “justice does not always prevail.” But that wasn’t satisfying to Swagger, so he went and killed all of the evildoers. However, in this act of revenge, he changed. As he left the house, he carried a new attitude—one of hatred. He destroyed the villains, but it seems that his soul was forfeited in the process.

By taking revenge, Bob Swagger was consumed by hate. This is exactly why God forbids us to take revenge. He knows that revenge corrupts us, and so He set it off limits to us. But that doesn’t mean that he allows injustice to reign. Rather, He promises us that evil will not go unpunished but says that, 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay (Deu. 32:25, NIV).' If only Swagger had trusted God’s promise.



In his murdering, Swagger took no heed of America’s laws. Instead, he completely ignored them because he had a better plan. This is a fatal message to be pushing. If we all acted like Swagger and ignored the law whenever we felt like someone deserved death, who could survive? We are all deserving of death, as Romans 6:23 says, 'For the wages of sin is death…' We are all sinners, but God has been merciful to us by allowing us to live if we trust in his son, Jesus Christ. We should thus imitate our Savior and extend mercy to others. We should not be vengeful and murderous. But Shooter ignores all of these truths by applauding Swagger’s massacre. Murderers should not be allowed to go free, but if they are we cannot take it upon ourselves to punish them, thus forfeiting our souls and the safety that we enjoy. We might destroy a few murderers, but we would create many more, ourselves included.

I think that “Shooter” succeeds as a thrilling flick but fails in its message. Still, if you are comfortable with its content and are up for a thought provoking movie, I would recommend Shooter to you. It raises issues that we all need to think about, but I hope that you will agree with me when the credits begin and choose your soul over revenge, mercy over vengeance, and temporary injustice over complete anarchy.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 4½
—David Witwer, age 16
Negative—…when I rented, “Shooter,” all I expected was a shoot’em up action film. …The first part of the movie was really entertaining with him being framed and then recovering and then going after the “bad” guys. I was glad he got his girl and proved he was innocent, even though the “bad” guys were not brought to justice, he was free! Isn’t that all he wanted. So instead of living his life with his new girl and going back to his home in the mountains he decides to go after these guys and kill them all because he thought they needed justice. This end scene ruined the movie for me. I was enjoying it until he killed all the guys and then blew up the house. This was not needed in the film and was just a scene proving that Hollywood and the writers of these movies are screwed up in the head. They think its okay for an ex-marine who wants justice to bend the law and kill because he thought they needed it. God says very clearly to turn the other cheek. This guy didn’t turn his other cheek, he blew his enemies off.

…If there was a moral in this movie it was, “Do whatever it takes to kill the bad guys and stop at nothing, even what the law says.” In a movie usually I pay no attention at all and move on with my life. However, a good amount of my friends have seen, Shooter, and they have loved it. Now I know they are all teenage guys but that disturbs me. I don’t think they ever stopped and thought about what the movie was saying.

When I was reading these other reviews I got the idea that the violence would be horrible, heads and arms flying everywhere with no stop of any of it. However, it’s not that bad, if you have seen movies such as “300,” “Flags of Our Fathers,” or “Gladiator.” This movie will be a walk in the park violence wise. There is no sex, but there is an apparent rape, and the girl is dressed pretty risque in a few scenes, but nothing worse than a PG rated movie. The language is bad, and I hate hearing it but its not as bad as a movie such as, “The Inside Man,” or any war movie with the F-bomb dropped in every battle scene. So it’s just basically the lack of morals that turns me off. I love movies where there is a sense of some sort of morals, which might explain the reason why I love war movies. But if you’re looking for a movie with inspirational courage and bravery don’t see this. …
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 3½
—Chris Tuttle, age 15
Positive—I saw this movie, and enjoyed myself. The action was very, very realistic, something that’s hard to find in movies today. The plot was well written, and keeps you interested during the entire film. There is an “conspiracy theory” attitude in this movie, the attitude that a huge amount of trouble is the government’s fault. This may or may not offend you. I was not bothered by it. There is, as you would guess, a large amount of violence in this film, fighting with guns, knives, explosives. (However, when something blows up in this movie, it’s because the characters used explosives. Not exploding rowboats in this film!) There is also swearing, but I didn’t notice how much, since I have a swear filter on my dvd player. As for nudity, there is next to none. In one scene, well, the camera makes it clear that the lead actress is not wearing a bra under her shirt. In another scene, the same actress is seen in a bra. Other than that, no nudity or sex scenes, making this a fairly clean film. Overall, it’s a good movie. I liked it very much.
My Ratings: Average / 4½
—Andrew Benson, age 16