There's a plot being formulated to assassinate the President of the United States. It's an advanced plan, that has been meticulously masterminded, and only an expert will be able to stop its execution. Enter patriotic ex-army marksman Bob Lee Swagger (Wahlberg), a reluctant accomplice in the plan to outsmart the shooter.
His is a typical war hero story for the movies. His best friend was killed in the line of duty, while acting as his spotter, and Swagger has since become a recluse, living in the mountains, with only his dog for company. He is coaxed away from this by Colonel Isaac Johnson (Glover), only with the enticement of doing good by protecting his country and keeping his oath of allegiance.
But underneath the seemingly good intentions of the FBI, a conspiracy is well underway and nobody can be trusted, not least those who claim to be in control of the situation. Confused? Don't be. All the twists are revealed in the first 10 minutes and after that it's all very obvious fare, dressed up as a suspenseful thriller.
Wahlberg makes the best of what he's given to work with here but the dialogue becomes a little jarring after you hear someone being referred to condescendingly as 'son' for the 17th time in as many minutes. The humour, where it surfaces sporadically, is momentarily amusing, with everything from Bono references to dead dog lamentations.
In supporting roles, Michael Pena plays the lowly, disrespected FBI agent well, as he dodges cliché-ridden bullets at every turn. Love interest Kate Mara does what she's there to do well, which is look pretty and not much else. Glover, on the other hand, is well in his comfort zone as the conniving colonel with the silver tongue camouflaging malicious intentions.
The problem with the movie is that you don't really feel the need to root for anyone. Even the double-crossed Bob Lee Swagger inspires little pity, such is his own warped sense of justice. In the end you half-heartedly want him to win out, purely for his great name and not anything he has done in the film.
'Shooter' does exactly what it says on the tin. It's a movie crammed with action sequences, chases and mindless violence for the sake of it. The storyline won't tax your brain and overall isn't likely to stick with you after you've thrown your popcorn bag in the bin.