Monday, 2 July 2007

Shooter


Well, I'm finally breaking my silence. I'm not sure why I haven't written in so long, though part of it was not seeing anything that inspired me to write. Now, I wouldn't say that Shooter was inspirational, but I did feel like writing a few words after seeing this movie.

If existential comedies are my favourite genre of movie, then revenge movies are just about my worst. Extreme violence is bad enough in itself, but manipulating the viewer into longing for that violence is just plain disturbing and that, of course, is what revenge movies do. There are a few elements of this movie that are cheap examples of exactly this kind of manipulation. Without that element it could have been a good action/fugitive movie to waste a bit of summer adrenaline on.

What I found interesting about the movie was watching it in the middle of the Washington Post revelations about Cheney. Can anyone help but see Cheney's face in the place of the senator in the movie? In that sense, it seems to me that this movie is indicative of the increasingly intense frustration at the powerlessness we feel in the face of corporate and political evil. Is Cheney not a classic example of how they're not even subtle about their evil power anymore? It's right in your face. And, unless one gives in to despair, it makes one desperate to find a way to fight back.

The disappointment of Shooter is that it doesn't even point to any self-awareness of the paradox of this desire to fight back with violence and lawlessness. Could the characters not even have caught a glimpse of how they were becoming the very thing they hated? Would that kind of glimpse really be too much to ask?

So, while enjoying the fugitive vs. evil conspiracy theme, I give it a frustrated **.

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