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.
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…
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
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.