Jul 18, 2010

Things I am yelling at the screen while I watch "Shooter"

Let me briefly preface this post. Everything in quotes is taken word for word from the movie. This movie is a freaking GOLDMINE of one-liners. I had to leave some of them behind because hubby finally refused to push pause. Everything else is the way my brain works while I watch Shooter. Finally, to my best friend, my sincere apologies for any rift in our friendship this post might cause. 

worst premise ever

I don't for one minute believe that this guy would take this job (you thought you were going to be arrested, but instead we're offering you a job to help stop people like you from doing what only you can do)

I can't understand Danny Glover's gravely lisp

"He said yes, just doesn't know it yet."

Awe, he's worried about the president. He's a patriot at heart, even though his country screwed him. I know because he asked his dog if he should take the job defending the president. It's sweet, his relationship with his dog. I'm sure that won't be exploited later on.

The cocked eyebrow means, 'I'm thinking hard.'

Slow motion strut out of the garage...with american flag in background. This guy is screwed.

I don't for one minute believe this guy can be this smart but not realize he is getting set up.

I know the rest of the movie has to be about him getting the guys who set him up, because this is happening way too early in the movie for it to be about the assassination attempt

So the government wanted the arch bishop killed, but it had to look like an attempt on the president and there had to be a fall guy... clever, except I figured it out right now, as the arch bishop hit the ground

If your plan is to set up and kill an assassin, why not choose one who is less competent than this guy; and then pick someone more competent than the fat police officer to dispatch of him?

Nice. Ditch Brody-style escape.

Bob Lee Swagger... that's this guys name?

The shooter is a crazy survivalist, so he's just going to go ahead and administer first aid to his shot-up shoulder while his stolen secret service car goes through/hides in the car wash.

Does huffing whipped cream really knock you out?

Bob Lee Swagger is a conspiracy theorist, and it took him 35 minutes (movie time) or 2 days (elapsed story time) more than it took me to figure out that the archbishop was supposed to get shot and that the US government did it.

Who could have predicted the dog's death? Me.
Hubby, filling in dialog for Swagger who just found out his dog is dead: 'Now I'm really mad.'

"They're never gonna stop chasing you." She's wise beyond her southern accent...

Really. These people who just met (one of whom is recovering from very recent gunshot wounds) have time for inappropriate sex?

Why do women "in disguise" always dress like prostitutes?

Good costume change, Swagger, 'cause a black hoodie doesn't look conspicuous

"You are asking questions way outside your pay grade." -FBI gal to FBI guy

"I don't think you understand. These guys killed my dog."

Nick Memphis - who thought up these names?

"This is about to get worse."

"Welcome to Tennessee, the patron state of shootin' stuff."

"Most guys shoot to kill, he'd shoot to wound. Turn one target into four."

lots of compliant women in this movie; compliant and pretty much unnecessary

"Sometimes to catch a wolf you need to tie the bait to a tree." Next scene. "The man we thought was tied up, came untied."

"It's a trap, every time," says the guy who was easily framed in the beginning of the movie. I wish you had figured that out before so this movie wouldn't have to exist.

Hey, he just stabbed that guy; they should have called this movie "Stabber."

Moral ambiguity much? Why is it OK for the hero to shoot a whole bunch of US soldiers who have nothing to do with the conspiracy, who are just following orders (like him in the beginning)?

Hey, Swagger, what the my-hands-are-tied-by-jurisdiction investigator is saying is: 'What this case needs is a little vigilante justice, so just in case Danny Glover turns up dead in the morning, I won't press any charges. Wink Wink.'

Good thing the shooter got to the corrupt Senator and the corrupt Colonel right before they were about to pull another job on another third world village. He just saved a whole bunch of South American babies. I know 'cause he started shooting the bad guys right after they got done talking about their plans to go kill babies in the morning (while smoking big fat cigars and laughing about how above the law they are). At this point in the movie, do I really deserve to be bludgeoned over the head with the notion that these are the bad guys?


  1. Bob Lee Swagger is one of the best names ever, behind a select few:

    - Karl Hungus
    - Rooster Cogburn
    - Bonesaw McGraw
    - Count Dooku
    - Apollo Creed
    - Bilbo Baggins

    and of course:


    Although typically when they beat you over the head with how clever a name is it becomes terrible, as in:

    - Gaylord Focker
    - any woman in a Bond movie

  2. And to answer the question: "do I really deserve to be bludgeoned over the head with the notion that these are the bad guys?"

    Yes, you do! This is an action movie where, as per your earlier criticism, the hero does morally questionable things. I'm talking about thin justification for many homicides. We need to be beaten over the head with how bad the bad guys are.

    Look at Commando or just about any Schwarzeneggar movie. It's pretty much 90 minutes of our hero killing guys who are "just doing their job." We as an audience need to have faith in his judgment that this is for the greater good, not question his methods as he takes care of business. These men were in a bad crowd, and sooner or later that catches up with you. Ordinary citizens such as ourselves do not have the stomach for what he does. Don't judge the butcher while you're eating a steak!

  3. The original thing I wanted to say is that action movies have the cool/clever factor, the ass-kicking factor, the absurdity scale and the one-liner count. It's nice to see something that isn't quite as silly as a Michael Bay / Jerry Bruckheimer joint that still has some one-liners.

    I like Antoine Fuqua, and I've seen a lot of people criticize him even though they like dumber stuff by Tony Scott and/or Joe Carnahan. At least Fuqua seems to know when he's being silly more often than Scott does, and doesn't go as overboard with it as Carnahan.

    Quentin Tarantino is the king of cool/ridiculous cinema, but his movies tell you in no uncertain terms that they are directed by a nerdy douche who thinks he's awesome and takes himself way too seriously.

    I'm not going out of my way to watch Shooter or King Arthur or Training Day again, but I like all of them, and Bait and Replacement Killers are somewhat entertaining if they happen to be on TV. I guess at this point I'm apologizing for liking crap movies.

  4. Action movies can have good stories and at least somewhat plausible premises, right? I love action movies, and I like some really silly ones, but this one did not work. At no point was I absorbed in the story or involved with the characters. There were just too many, "That's so stupid!" moments.


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