Death on the heels of Mark Wahlberg



From left to right: Danny Glover, Mark Wahlberg and Jonathan Walker in “Shooter, tir d'élite” (2007), by Antoine Fuqua.


What if Lee Harvey Oswald, presumed assassin of President John Kennedy, becomes the hero of a paranoid thriller? Bob Lee Swagger, a former sniper who left the marines (actor Mark Wahlberg, very convincing), lives withdrawn in his mountain after being betrayed during a mission in Ethiopia. He is contacted by the CIA to thwart a plan to assassinate the President of the United States. Colonel Isaac Fitzsimmons Johnson (Danny Glover) comes to ask him to use his skills to anticipate the movements of a possible killer.

Unfortunately, the expert is the object of a plot which makes him the main suspect of the attack. Here he is, a hunted man and investigator determined to shed light and above all to take revenge for the infamy suffered. Being the subject of a manhunt all over the territory, Swagger the sniper decides to implement his skills to… neutralize the most influential men in the country.

There are several things to be credited to Shooter, sniper, adaptation of the novel Point of Impact, by Stephen Hunter (published in 1993). And we must first recognize the skill with which a narrative structure traced from the indestructible Death on the heels, by Alfred Hitchcock, continues to run in a contemporary Hollywood production. But Antoine Fuqua’s film also fuels a strange ideological alloy.

Distrust of the federal state

The affect that runs through the film is an innate distrust of the federal state, which we know is manifested by various parts of American society, frightened by the evolution of history and guided by a populism from the depths that would play the main character.

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Added to this regressive distrust is a virulent denunciation of the policies of George W. Bush and the war in Iraq, which began in 2003 and which was in full swing at the time of the film’s release in 2007. The plot which is victim the hero thus becomes the metaphor of the state lie set up as a rule of government during this conflict. The film repeatedly drives the point home and does not hesitate to denounce the stranglehold of economic interests on the foreign policy of the United States.

The cynicism of the “villains” seems to justify the most barbaric actions of the “hero”. But the film also describes an America that is both concrete and abstract: concrete because the hunt superimposes often spectacular natural landscapes, abstract because they only seem connected by the desire for an action that would invent its own logic.

Shooter, sniper American film by Antoine Fuqua with Mark Wahlberg, Danny Glover, Kate Mara. (EU, 2007, 2:04) RTL9


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