Miles on Movies


reviewed by R. Miles Mendenhall

Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Tears of the Sun) creates a tight thriller with a lefty progressive edge. Mark Wahlberg plays, Bob Lee Swagger (a macho redneck name if there ever was) is a disaffected Marine sniper who was left along with his spotter in Ethiopia when his op is abandoned by a nameless private security agency more covert than Delta Force.

The violence is state of the art, the one man against the world, with a few apprehensive allies, is a familiar, but macho satisfying story. For those who loved “Five Days of the Condor”and Parallax View” (must-sees in the Conspiracy Theorist Film Archive!) this film will reward your viewing.

If you’re not into lone, hard-ass vigilante stories, who take out loads of “bad” guys with their superior tech, tactics and ability to run through hails of automatic weapons fire, miss it.

Ned Beatty once again channels the chubby, pink white guys behind the corporate evil in the world. Mr. Wahlberg (nee Markie Mark, don’t call him that!) shows again that he can out-stoic Matt Damon.

Danny Glover ably plays (as ever!) Colonel Isaac Johnson, the eminence noir behind a nefarious plot to find a patsy for a corporate assassination scheme.

I was troubled by the justification for lone wolf vigilantism, no matter how strong the provocation, in this story the forces pushing the hero to action are manifold. What would happen in a world where every ex-military trained killer took the law into their own hands when the law is corrupt and has abandoned justice?

What would that be like?

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