DIRECTED BY: Luis Llosa
This movie gets a 5-star rating because in sharp comparison to the movies we’re typically exposed to in the BAM genre, this one isn’t actually that bad. In fact, it’s almost a good movie. Sure, it relies on some predictable plot elements, but Tom Berenger’s performance as the seasoned, hard-edged, nothing-left-to-lose sniper is both believable and engaging. Recently partnered with a green, arrogant young new partner (Billy Zane), Berenger is tasked with training the fearful marine as they get deeper into the Panamanian jungle on a mission to assassinate several terrorists.
Made in the early nineties, this movie draws on the imagery that we’re accustomed to seeing in Vietnam movies (think jungle crawling, dog-tags, helicopters), and lacks the high-tech edge that we expect from more current military flicks. Berenger carries his partner through the mission, as Zane struggles to make his kill shots, keep himself properly concealed, and eventually goes mad in what is the movie’s most unbelievable sequence. You probably won’t gain any new perspectives on war watching Sniper, but you may be surprised at how few jokes you are able to make at the movies expense.