**/**** Image B Sound A Extras B-
starring Mark Wahlberg, Michael Peña, Danny Glover, Ned Beatty
screenplay by Jonathan Lemkin, based on the novel Point of Impact by Stephen Hunter
directed by Antoine Fuqua
by Walter Chaw Think of it as the latest in the proud tradition of Walking Tall hicksploitation: a redneck Bourne Identity with a bleeding heart tacked to its sleeve by barbed chicken wire. Or, better, think of Shooter as a noble attempt to win back the Kansan-Tennesseean-Montanan wingnut demographic from the arch-conservatives who've made men buggering one another of greater concern than their farms going under and their children fighting indefensible wars declared by an impossibly wealthy aristocracy-by-coup. Sound extreme? Shooter is all this and more: a nihilistic exercise in Old Testament revenge that has more in common with such cult classics as Next of Kin than with cult classics like the suddenly-reserved-seeming Sniper. It makes no bones about its politics, assembling talking heads in the form of a venerable Red State senator (Ned Beatty) and a too-old-for-this-shit Colonel (Danny Glover, too old for this shit almost twenty years ago) to spout on endlessly about the lack of WMDs, the atrocities at Abu Ghraib, and, for shits and giggles, the conspiracy behind the JFK assassination. No The Parallax View, the film mines the complex machinations of good guys being good and bad guys being bad: bad guys being politicians and military guys drunk on power and good guys being hillbilly guardsmen with access to the Internet and too many guns.