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thedrifter
03-27-07, 09:12 AM
03/27/2007
MOVIE MINUTES: Wahlberg action flick takes third spot at box office
By DENNIS J. WRIGHT , Weekly Feature

Paramount Pictures' "Shooter" took aim at the top spot at the box office, but hit third place instead over the past weekend.

The action film starring Mark Wahlberg brought in $14.5 million during the last three days.

Wahlberg stars as Bobby Lee Swagger, a former Marine sniper living in an outdoor cabin out in the middle of nowhere. He is also highly regarded as an individual who can hit a target from a mile away.

That ability makes him a sought-out commodity by Colonial Isaac Johnson (Danny Glover), who tells Swagger about a possible assassination attempt that may take place on the President's life, possibly from a mile away.

Swagger, who left the Marines after a mission went awry, has become cynical and betrayed by his country. He doesn't want to work with Johnson, but his deep-down patriotism convinces him to do so.

Unbeknownst to Swagger, an organization that was to blame for his last mission in the Marines wants to set him up and double-cross him.

So the day of the attempt, his assistance turns futile as an assassination takes place and actually kills a visiting diplomat.

Shot twice for his efforts, Swagger is now on the run, looking to find out who's framed him, and that's where all of the action begins.

"Shooter" is on the same realm as most recent action films - explosive action sequences and sub-par plots. Unfortunately, you know how it is going to end, and the pacing towards the goal is too drawn out to feel any sense of contentment. For once, I'd like to see a little bit of thought process and ingenuity instead of re-hashing or cookie-cutting old plots.

The supporting cast with Glover and Ned Beatty as the bad guys is believable, and the two females, Kate Mara and Rhona Mitra, don't have enough to do. The over-the-top psycho henchman award goes to Elias Koteas, but with little else.

While I won't say that this was a total waste of time (e.g., "Premonition"), there was no way I was sitting through another Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie.

Besides, you usually don't go wrong with a Mark Wahlberg film, and fans of his will flock to see this one as well.

Not necessarily a bull's-eye, "Shooter" is within range at three out of four stars.

"Shooter" is rated R for strong graphic violence and some language. Running time is 2 hours, 4 minutes.

Last week's No. 1, "300" was knocked from the top spot by turtles to No. 2 with $20.5 million. Over the past three weeks, "300" has earned over $162.3 million.

Buena Vista Pictures' "Wild Hogs" is still rumbling in the top five despite falling from No. 2 to No. 4 with $14.3 million. The best comedy over the past month has brought in $123.8 million.

For more information and show times, contact Regal Cinemas Marketplace 24, 180 Mill Road, Oaks, at 610-666-6697.

Dennis J. Wright can be reached at dwright@phoenixvillenews.com.

Ellie