HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen
Porky’s II: The Next Day
It Happened Here
Giant from the Unknown
211
Top of the Bill
Set It Off
No Way Out
Traffik
Pitch Perfect 3
Insidious: The Last Key
Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, The
Dirty Carnival, A
King of Hearts
Crowhurst
And the Same to You
Racer and the Jailbird
Superman and the Mole-Men
Phantom Thread
Sweet Country
Loophole
Irma La Douce
Brigsby Bear
Wish Upon
Gringo
Finding Vivian Maier
Shape of Water, The
Lady Bird
Endless, The
Universal Soldier: The Return
   
 
Newest Articles
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
Wes Anderson's Big Daddies: Steve Zissou and Others
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
   
 
  Sniper Prided On AccuracyBuy this film here.
Year: 1993
Director: Luis Llosa
Stars: 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, William Curtin, Rex Linn
Genre: Drama, Action, War
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Thomas Beckett (Tom Berenger) is an American military sniper who is nearing the end of his usefulness as he ages out of his job, but still has the chops to deliver the kills as ordered by his bosses. He has been dropped into the jungles of Central America with a rookie partner, and while they carry off their mission with skill, it is the point when they are to be picked up by the helicopter to take them back to base that they run into trouble, for the chopper arrives during daylight, utterly against Beckett's instructions since it places them both in too much danger. They don't have much choice now, and run across a river to be rescued, but it is too late for his partner and he is shot in turn by a different sniper - Beckett is furious!

Sniper was positioned as a cut above the average action flick that was coming out of Hollywood at the time, as if it was a thinking man's Chuck Norris movie rather than yet another shoot and punch up effort whose more natural home would have been on VHS. Actually, it turned out as the years went by its most natural home was late night television, as it became one of those go to movies that broadcasters across the world would use to fill up a ninety minute gap in a schedule at the close of the day, with many a viewer finding they would be watching it instead of going to bed because at that time in the evening they had nothing else to do. It was one of those works that generated at least a low level of interest in the viewer.

No matter if they nodded off on the sofa while it played out its ever so butch relationship between Berenger's old hand at the sniper game and Billy Zane as Richard Miller (Dick Miller - surely not?), the young upstart who is an excellent shot but has never killed anyone. This was the sort of film you could drift away from consciousness during and regain that engagement with the drama by the end, though that ending may have left you retiring to bed in a rather grumpy mood because it didn't quite match the rest of the plot, and had a jarring effect. Before this it was basic buddy movie proceedings with pretensions to saying something important about the business of organised murder, though that turned out to be more "you have a job to do, get on with it".

Berenger and Zane struck sparks off one another adequately, though the lack of humour was telling, and for a while there was a passage where Miller was held up as a namby-pamby thanks to his more feminised approach to assassination, buying fashion gear for camouflage, applying his face paint in a compact as if he were powdering his nose and touching up his lipstick, that sort of thing. This was by way of explanation as to why Miller was reluctant to pull the trigger once he had someone in his sights, and director Luis Llosa, a Roger Corman graduate, was very taken with the sights-eye view of targets caught in the crosshairs, a cliché but he did not seem to mind, he was going to use it as if it were going out of fashion (and quite what those red dots at the bottom of the circle were supposed to be were anyone's guess).

So we had the high tech approach to, in this instance, assassinating a Panamanian gangster who was about to be promoted to a position of great political power, too much power the United States were comfortable with, and therefore had to be bumped off as quickly as possible, hence the reason for dispatching Beckett and Miller to jaunt through the jungle avoiding his henchmen and grabbing their chance while they could. It was a slog to get through the undergrowth, and a problem was that you felt it was a slog to watch them doing so, with all those aims for investigating the psychology of the professional killers - hitmen for the American authorities, essentially - ringing rather hollow when it was so pleased with their action setpieces that were rather average in, ahem, execution. The main trick was to follow a bullet from barrel to impact, kind of like Kevin Costner's arrows in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, yet this highlighted the film's uncertainty over whether this was serious contemplation or pure escapism. Watching after midnight, you may plump for the latter. Music by Gary Chang.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 353 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
George White
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
   

 

Last Updated: