Sniper: Legacy (2014)
“Like Father, Like Son. Born to Kill.”
Sniper: Legacy (2014)
Director: Don Michael Paul
Cast: Doug Allen, Asen Asenov, Tom Berenger
Synopsis: A rogue assassin is taking out military leaders, and Brandon gets word that his father is one. He tries to track down the killer, finds out that his father isn’t dead and realizes that his superior officers are using him as bait to track the killer.
The biggest problem encountered when making a film like Sniper; Legacy must be finding ways to make the battle scenes exciting. After all, these are men whose area of expertise is the quick, clean kill from distance. One shot, one body. But that doesn’t really make for exciting cinema. Once you’ve seen a couple of swarthy, turban-wearers shot through the cross-hairs things get a bit repetitive. So after having been set up as long-range experts in the film’s opening half-hour, these crack-shots have to unaccountably start missing their targets so that we can have a few minutes of khaki-clad men exchanging gunfire as they dodge between rocks and burnt-out buildings.
Sniper: Legacy is the 743rd film – or is it the 5th? – in a movie series that began back in the early 1990s. There was a long gap between the third and fourth movies, and presumably the fourth did reasonably well otherwise we wouldn’t have a fifth. But that’s the beauty of modern moviemaking: it’s relatively cheap. You don’t have to move as many units to realise a profit as you used to. The downside is that a lot of bad movies are made as a result. Not that Sniper: Legacy is bad – it’s just very, very ordinary. And it’s a cast-iron snooze-fest if surly men with rifles don’t float your boat.
Our hero is Brandon Beckett (Chad Michael Collins), the son of Thomas Beckett (Tom Berenger – Platoon, Inception), who was the star of the first three movies. Brandon learns that a rogue assassin is killing military leaders, one of whom was his aforementioned father, and sets out to track him down while other members of his crack team of snipers attempt to protect the life of the officer they know is next on the killer’s hit list.
It’s solidly directed by Don Michael Paul, and the locations are lush, but the movie paints a bleak picture of life as a sniper. People hardly ever smile, but they do engage in quite a bit of deep and meaningful soul-searching between kills. Sometimes they stand side by side and hold conversations without looking at one another, each choosing instead to gaze off into the distance as they converse. Perhaps they’re seeking some visual stimuli to take their minds off the string of clichés they’re forced to utter. And the clichés also run to the visual, such as spent shells falling to the floor in slow-motion. The gunfights are good, they’re well-choreographed and edgy, but the story plods between them like a tired old donkey before finally arriving at its predictable conclusion.
(Reviewed 2nd June 2015)