Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Movie Review: Sniper

Starring: Tom Berenger, Billy Zane, J.T. Walsh, Aden Young, Ken Radley, Reynaldo Arenas, Gary Swanson, Hank Garrett, Frederick Miragliotta, Vanessa Steele, Carlos Álvarez, Tyler Coppin, Teo Gebert, Edward Wiley 
Director: Luis Llosa 
Baltimore Pictures, Iguana Producciones, Sniper Productions, TriStar Pictures, USA, Peru, 1993. 
Two U.S. Marines, Master Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Beckett (Tom Berenger) and Corporal Papich (Aden Young) are assigned to Panama. Their mission is to kill a guerrilla leader. Their extraction goes bad and Papich dies. A new spotter Richard Miller (Billy Zane) is sent to Panama to help Beckett eliminate a rebel general Alvarez (Frederick Miragliotta) who is getting funded by local drug lord Ochoa (Carlos Álvarez). Miller is a former SWAT-sniper without real military experience and he may not have what it takes to be a sniper. Never been in combat, Miller has difficulties in killing the enemies. 
Tom Berenger
Beckett with camo paint
Billy Zane
Miller is not accustomed to combat situations
Guerrilla fighters attack
The chemistry between Beckett and Miller is not good, especially after Beckett wants to help local Indians get rid of their enemy. Miller also fears that Beckett has gone crazy after all the assassination missions. Miller is arrogant and more interested about having a career of a desk officer, while Beckett's combat experience keeps them alive. In addition they are soon chased by a mercenary sniper. Miller has also orders to kill Beckett if he becomes a liability to the mission. 
Cacique (Reynaldo Arenas) is one of the few allies in jungle
Tom Berenger
Beckett sniping
The film has solid action scenes, but mostly the sniping consists of lying low in hiding spots with Ghillie suits on and waiting for the target. In these scenes the movie does a good job in building up the excitement. Because of this the action is more down-to-earth and realistic than in usual Hollywood-action films. There are still some stylistic effects of bullets drilling their way through the air. The acting of the supporting actors is wooden. The main stars Berenger and Zane manage to put psychological tension between their characters. The psychological aspect makes the movie somewhat similar to "First Blood". 
While the movie has some elements of a buddy movie, the humour is almost completely lacking and the movie focuses on the relationship of an inexperienced rookie and an experienced killer. The villains consist of regular bad guys, drug kingpins and torturers. Sniper is one of the best marksman themed movies and a good jungle action thriller. 

Rating: Good

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