Sniper, The (UK - DVD R2)
Marcus, aims, takes a breath and pulls the trigger on this sniper movie DVD...
Caught in an impossible stand off, a beat cop proves his worth as a marksmen and shoots a bad guy through the eye as instructed by the bad ass sniper on the scene. The voice over informs us that "A cop who can make a headshot has the eyes of a sniper" and before you know it the beat cop is on the team sniper.
This part action, part melancholy introspective action flick sort of works despite the fact it's not got a very strong plot and the action is fairly luke warm. We are reminded time and time again via sniper wisdom that "When you hold a gun you must use your heart" or similar nuggets of insight and the attempt here is to get us inside the mind of a sniper, even if the technical approach is brushed aside for breathing right and remaining focused.
What The Sniper really is, is a sniper fetish movie that feels more like a tv show in style. There's plenty of blue steel glances from the tough guys with guns and even more oiled bodies as the snipers practice their snipering (which pretty much makes up the first half of the film) and when the plot does sneak in, with its oddly placed slow motion shots and nothing too memorable, the CGI bullets and quite minimal action set pieces are a little dull and make The Sniper feels less cool that it appears to want to be.
The opening scenes where our cop hero gets noticed by the snipers is a stylised green visual affair, that's very green indeed. This gets replaced by a more natural, sometimes even pale looking image intercut with colourised or black and white flashbacks. The digital look of the film is nice, clean and modern looking with deep blacks throughout. The image varies from sharp and impressive to slightly soft and with no real cinematic highlights this is all flash and no substance.
Annoying post dubbed, out of sync dialogue and disonnected sound effects make everything feel a little odd. Gunshots are nice and strong and some of the more energetic action scenes have the up beat cop TV show soundtrack elevate the mix a little but all in all this is a very basic track with nothing in the way of dynamic range.
The only extra here is the Trailer (01:04).
The Sniper does an okay job at glamorising the role of shooting things from a distance to the point where it gets tedious. The action is slightly exciting, the drama melodramatic all the way through and really The Sniper felt more in tune with the direct to video 80s actioners as opposed to anything modern. The disc is bare bones and basic in A/V departments, so nothing too exciting to report here.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over
Release Date: 12th March 2012
Disc Type: Single side, dual layer
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 Chinese, Stereo 2.0 Chinese
Easter Egg: No
Director: Dante Lam
Cast: Richie Jen, Edison Chen
Genre: Action, Crime and Drama
Length: 83 minutes
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