Sniper: Reloaded Reviews
While working with the UN Forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Marine Sgt. Brandon Beckett (Chad Michael Collins), son of renowned sniper Thomas Beckett, receives orders to rescue a European farmer trapped in the middle of hostile rebel territory. When he and his men arrive at the farm, a mysterious sniper ambushes them, wounding Beckett and killing everyone else. With the help of his fathers former protégé, sniper instructor Richard Miller (Billy Zane), Beckett must learn to think like a sniper to track down the assassin before the sniper returns to finish the job. On top of this he must also track down the one who is giving the orders and reveal a conspiracy.
Sniper 2 was the only film in the series I really enjoyed, and the only consistent value of the series was the presence of Tom Berenger. So with him absent in Sniper: Reloaded, my expectations for the film were even lesser. While that was a good move, the bad decision was that I didn't set my standards low enough because while there was a certain level of cheap fun in the first three sniper films, Sniper: Reloaded came up much shorter in quality than I could have expected.
Sniper: Reloaded is one of those films which was produced on a low budget and not subtle about showing it. Released direct to DVD, Sniper: Reloaded has the production value of a YouTube action movie and not half the fun of one. It is mostly composed of meaningless scenes depicting thinly sketched dialogue between cheap characters. This makes the film a massive step down from its already low standard predecessors mainly because of the fact that it becomes too much about trying to establish depth. Fans of the Sniper series are less likely to find the story in the film appealing than the action scenes, but unfortunately the focus in the film is all wrong. There is too much emphasis on the story which takes itself way too seriously and is damaged by the presence of a lackluster script which leaves essentially no cliche absent.
While Sniper was a flawed film, it at least kept its preferences primary focused on action and trying to make meaning out of the life of a sniper. It failed, but it at least made the effort. In Sniper 2, the film stepped it up because it focused solely on the action and attempting to remain engaging from the instant it started the action. Sniper 3 was poor form again, but the action was good. In Sniper: Reloaded, the quality and quantity of action hits an all new low point, and Tom Berenger is not there to mask it. It is ridiculously cheap, cheaper than I had expected after even sitting through the made for tv and direct to DVD preqiels to this film. Sniper was not a great series, but Sniper: Reloaded represents a new low point for it with excessively low production values and a distinct lack of thrills an exhileration. All that Sniper: Reloaded turns out to be is a waste of potential because considering the quality of the locations used in the film and some decent cinematography, Sniper: Reloaded could have been a decent guilty pleasure if it were more focused on crafting a high quantity of good action than on spewing out its repetitive and unorginal premise.
The action scenes in Sniper: Reloaded are not up to par. They aren't especially bad, but they are too little in quantity, too short in timespan, lacking in atmosphere or exhileration and most importantly are short on sniping. For a film with the word sniper in the title, Sniper: Reloaded does not put enough use to the fact that its characters are snipers and instead has them engage in cheaply crafted close combat shootouts. Some of the sniper moments are well executed, but they are way too insufficient in quantity and are surrounded by action scenes of a lesser quality which do nothing to strengthen it. So for an action film, Sniper: Reloaded comes up short in the action department. And that is worse than the lacklustre story, slow pace and dull script. That should single handily dictate to you precisely how bad the film is, and it is no surprise that the film comes off as being nothing but a cheap bore. Sniper: Reloaded is way too focused on its story which is generic and so its action scenes are intended as the reliable source of entertainment. When they falter, that becomes the clear breaking point for Sniper: Reloaded and establishes that it is literally nothing but a bad film.
The cast in Sniper: Reloaded end up being a minor positive element in the film,
Billy Zane's screen time in Sniper: Reloaded is minimal, second only to his actual relavance to the story. The fact that the filmmakers were able to get him back for the film is good, but what they do for him in the film is not. Billy Zane is clearly the most famous person to have the slightest involvement with Sniper: Reloaded, and yet he plays second fiddle to Chad Michael Collins who does not have the same legacy. He is a genial presence in the film considering his minor legacy, but there is notr enough of him. It's a shame because despite the thin nature of his character, he is a likable figure and the support he brings to protagonist Sgt. Brandon Beckett is a nice touch. But still, he is a wasted asset. The fact that Billy Zane's career has reduced him to appearing in low budget direct to DVD films like this, Mercenaries and The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption is pretty depressing. Still, he remains one of the few illuminating qualities in Sniper: Reloaded.
Chad Michael Collins' presence in the film is decent because he does look a lot like the son of Tom Berenger which makes him convincing in his role. And as far as lead performances go he could have gone a lot worse because while his performance was far from perfect and his emotions were not on par all that much, but he did supply a certain slight sense of determination to the part and carried his weapon confidently. His presence in the film is decent solely because of how he looks like Tom Berenger which means that he supplies more than the average star of a Direct to DVD action vehicle does, so he's not all that bad.
So Sniper: Reloaded lives up to the standard of direct to DVD action films by having a generic story and sun-par action moments, but even goes beneath them by maintaining an excessive focus on its generic story and a distinctly small quantity of action moments which ensures that it even fails to reach the standard set by its low quality predecessors.
(2011) Sniper: Reloaded
Low budget, conventional and straight-to-rental flick has a small group of US soldiers ordered to safegaurd a resident through some of the lands of the African Congo, only to be ambushed by some snipers leaving only one soldier still alive who after a bond with these soldiers is succumbing to seek retribution. The good are the actual existing politics explained that is going on in Congo and in Africa in general which doesn't come out until much later meaning that the director had probably done his research making the first 40 minutes to be very routine, the production values which includes some of the acting is apparently very low and has potential to be better.
2.5 out of 4