Saturday, March 24, 2007

Shot in the Foot

I've always been a Mark Wahlberg fan, as an actor, I really despised his rapping character, and have been surprised at his choice of roles since he has defied expectations by not pursuing the action star path.

So I was a little excited when I saw that he was making The Shooter with Antoine Fuqua. Ever since seeing the highly underrated Tears of the Sun, a movie that literally brought me to tears, I've been interested in Fuqua's work. Leaving the country soon after Tears, it made it hard to keep up with his work.

Last week the local free weekly came out with a rave review of the film, a review that put me in the theatre opening day. Sorry to say that although Fugua still knows how to create elements of a great action film, he has a tendency to beat the audience over the head with points that would be better made with a bit more nuance. Ned Beatty has a couple of scenes that are simply embarrassing and I wonder if he was while he was screaming his lines. And the trend of multiple endings has really run its course with The Shooter exceeded its count by at least 3. Overall, a big disappointment.

Of course I should have been prepared. I learned long ago that many critics are simply so disconnected from certain genre films that they don't even understand what makes one entertaining for their audience and so when they offer praise of one, you can almost bet it is for all the wrong reasons. That's how you get almost universal critical acclaim for movies like The Host and Children of Men and dumbfounded audiences wondering what the hell it is they just watched.

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