The action was dull, the thrills were minimal, the dramatics of being a sniper were not emphasized and the skilled performances of Tom Berenger and Billy Zane, as well their charismatic chemistry was not emphasized. It was shot on beautiful locations though.
Sniper was just really a misfire.
For the most part, there are only two cast members -- Zane and Berenger. They have some pretty good chemistry together as polar opposites. A lot of time, they are just standing their, weapons at the ready, and delivering their lines. If you ask me, there was a lot more time for the two to talk than get into some action. I personally thought Berenger was a bit stronger in his role than Zane was.
The action scenes are pretty quick, and aren't too explosive. If you ask me, the movie leaned more toward the relationship between the Marine and the NCS man more than focused on action. As for blood, it's not a lot, but the gun fights are pretty graphic. You get to see the bullets intended targets get hit, with some pretty good blood splattering from the impact.
The special effects are pretty average in this movie. You get the sound of gun fire, some fairly big explosions and some good blood splattering.
One of the most unique things in this movie is that we get to see the paths of bullets fired. Sometimes, the camera is showing the audience the path of the bullet as if the camera was mounted on it. Other times, the camera appears to be traveling next to the bullets as they fly through the air. And, at least twice, we get to see the bullets from the point of their intended target. I can't recall any other movie that uses this effect, but it was pretty interesting visually.
The villains are not really developed in this movie. You get a little background through the conversations of the two main characters, which doesn't tell much with a few of the intended sniper targets. You get one main villain, but he is mostly seen through eye pieces, and doesn't get a lot of screen time.
I would suggest that you don't rent this one. Maybe check it on HBO or on On Demand.
2009 Movies 55