Published on March 4th, 2008 | by Chris0
In 1993's Sniper, we travel to Central America to fight the good fight in the "war on drugs," er, I think. No, actually we're playing CIA games to try and meddle in the affairs of nations. Yeah, that's better.
Anyway, we find veteran expert sniper Thomas Beckett (Tom Berenger) sent off to eliminate the army general set to take over Panama, oh, and while you're there, Tom, why not take out any other targets of opportunity, like the evil druglord.
Oh, and, Beckett, during this top-secret and dangerous mission, we're going to pair you up with an inexperienced desk jockey. What? Richard Miller (Billy Zane) is that guy.
From the beginning we can see that Miller is going to be a problem, as he hesitates to pull the trigger on an enemy attacking his helicopter, and the guy instead gets taken out by a stray bullet from the side gunner. The pilot thinks Miller has done this, and suddenly he's a big superhero marksman. But we all know better.
Later in the film, Miller chokes again, and sets up things for later on down the road. He gives a 'warning shot' to one of his targets, and causes both Beckett and the locals to just plain not trust him.
Then there's the irrelevant side plot of the former student of Beckett, who tails them through the jungle, until Beckett offs him with the cliched bullet through the scope shot. Oh, yeah, did we mention that his mystery sniper took out Beckett's partner at the beginning of the film? No? Well, it doesn't matter anyway. What was the point of that little exercise, anyway?
Well, there are lots of things in this movie that even a guy like me, clueless about the details of "how to be an expert sniper," looks at and goes, "What the F*** are you doing?" Such as choosing a firing position inside a barn, without a covered approach or exit, splitting up your team (I thought you were supposed to have a spotter?) and lots of other little things where you scratch your head.
And the ending, where Miller kind of loses it and goes rogue is just a little too weird for words. Yeah sure in the end it all works out, but I'm still trying to figure out the point of it all.
Sniper is just another early-nineties formula action movie at its core. The plot really isn't all that well conceived, and the mechanics seem even less so. Berenger is his usual self, lots of growly "get out of my face" kind of lines, and Zane is also his usual self. He plays the confused whiner pretty well I think. Really the rest is minor supporting role types, and of no consequence. Kind of like the entire picture.
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Tom Berenger and Billy Zane load their weapons for hair-trigger suspense and through-the-heart action in this non-stop guerrilla adventure exploding with raw firepower. One shot. One kill. No exceptions...
DVD InformationBinding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audience Rating: R (Restricted)
Manufacturer: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Original Release Date:
- Tom Berenger
- Billy Zane
- J.T. Walsh
- Aden Young
- Ken Radley
- SNIPER MOVIE
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Excellent deal for three movies,
This review is from: Sniper Collector's Box Set: Sniper, Sniper 2, and Sniper 3 (DVD)
First of all, The Sniper 1 dvd in this box set is incorrectly labeled as anamorphic widescreen. It says this right on the back of the dvd box. Let me assure you, this is not anamorphic widescreen. This version is a fullscreen version but the good thing is that this is the best transfer of this movie to date. The video quality and sound are superb. And, it is not the crappy dual layered version that was issued in 1998 which can give many dvd players lots of problems with freezing. This wonderful fullscreen version is a single layered disc which contains only the fullscreen version. It also has a top labeling on the dvd itself and plays perfectly with no freezing. The Sniper 2 and 3 dvds in this box set both have true anamorphic widescreen and are also top notch quality.0
Sniper 1 is an excellent movie. Sniper 2 is not good at all, just one bad movie in my opinion. But Sniper 3 is excellent and makes up for how awful Sniper 2 is.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Worthwhile and interesting.,
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sniper (DVD)Since I did not expect an action-packed on-your-the-edge-of-your seat film, I was not disappointed with this movie.
I saw it as basically a character study, between an older, more experienced man (Tom Berenger), and a younger, inexperienced and proud man (Billy Zane). They are foisted together on a jungle mission, and while Zane's character is *supposed* to be the superior officer, he soon learns that he is out of his element. Berenger's character calls him "son" as he leads him through the jungle, being simultaniously irritated yet supportive over Zane's inexperience.
I found myself caring about these characters, and appreciating the contrast between them. While this film had flaws (the ending, while adequate, lacked a little "punch"), I still enjoyed the movie overall. The performances of both actors was good -- particularly Berenger, who does the "steely emotionless" thing quite well. Zane was also good at looking a little queazy and out of... Read more
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
"Okay," as is, but could have been "magnificent.",
This review is from: Sniper [VHS] (VHS Tape)This not completely unpleasant diversion could have been a landmark film - if - it had been instead overtly made as the story of its OBVIOUS inspiration, Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Norman Hathcock II. Berenger delivers, but the script lets him down. Those knowledgable of Gunny Hathcock will immediately recognize the film's fictional retelling of actual events: the killing of the enemy sniper with a shot through his scope, the 4-day stalk across 2,000 yards of open country, the "Apache Woman" - all are represented in this film. The film that could have been, and I wish would have been, is the story of Gunny Hathcock. "Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills" by Charles Henderson is available right here on Amazon.com. Read the Henderson book, then watch the Berenger film, and you will KNOW Hathcock was the inspiration. Sadly, even unjustly, the film neither mentions nor credits Gunny Hathcock. (Also available at Amazon.com is Henderson's second work about Hathcock,... Read more
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Summary: Sniper is just another early-nineties formula action movie at its core. The plot really isn't all that well conceived, and the mechanics seem even less so. Berenger is his usual self, lots of growly "get out of my face" kind of lines, and Zane is also his usual self. He plays the confused whiner pretty well I think. Really the rest is minor supporting role types, and of no consequence. Kind of like the entire picture.