Shooter (2007)

(In theaters, March 2007) There isn’t much more here than a good little conspiracy thriller, but don’t let that be a problem: Director Antoine Fuqua is back in shape after a trio of underwhelming films, and the result is competent enough to satisfy. Updated from Point of Impact, an original novel by film critic (!) Stephen Hunter, Shooter amps up the conspiracy angle of the book to include an entire machinery of government and industry (riffing off the waning power of truth and decency during the Bush administration), yet can’t resist a vigilante-like conclusion. Don’t worry: The protagonist will escape his pursuers, find the real story, prove it to the right people and get the girl. It’s the way in which it’s done that’s worth the ticket, and here Shooter does everything well. Cool supporting characters (including an old man with a historically significant shovel), nice action set-pieces, big explosions and a little bit of courtroom showdown are all we need. The updated references immediately make the film fit in the twenty-first century and mark Shooter as a solid thriller with a bit of a wider vision than is usual in movies of its type.

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