In 2007, Mark Wahlberg starred in a great movie called Shooter that was based off of Stephen Hunter’s novel “Point of Impact.” The film was about an expert marine sniper who gets framed for assassinating the president, and his determination to seek justice and clear his name. Wahlberg is an executive producer along with Stephen Levinson on the TV series that began airing last November. With the second season underway now, the first season of the successful USA channel show arrived on DVD about six weeks ago, but I only just now got to reviewing it.
The DVD release is barebones to be sure, but the show itself is enjoyable. Packaging is a standard size case with two discs containing all ten episodes. Disc two also contains a very brief ‘making of’ featurette which is little more than a sort of teaser or promotional material for the show, it unfortunately lacks any real depth. English audio and subtitles are included, and naturally the show is presented in 1:78:1 ratio. In terms of functionality and presenation, the DVD release is exactly what you would expect, a no frills offering for those that prefer to own a physical copy for their libraries.
As far as the show itself, I enjoyed the military conspiracy angle; at times I was reminded of Nowhere Man and Prison Break. Lead star Ryan Phillippe plays Bob Lee Swagger, the heroic Marine sniper who never misses. A powerful co-star role is played by Omar Epps, who you may recall from House, M.D. Veteran actor Tom Sizemore, the beautiful Shantel Van Santen, and Eddie McClintock round out additional lead roles and all do a fine job. The episodes are somewhat predictable but there are enough surprises to keep things interesting and the show maintains a pretty quick pace, so watching the entire first season on a lazy day is not out of the question given that it only takes roughly seven hours to do so. I will add that my favorite episode is number six, in which Swaggert tracks down his old instructor, played by William Fichtner. I’ll also add that the latter third of the season trails off in that some of the major mysteries of the plotline get revealed but you’re still very likely to want to see what other betrayals develop. Finally, one reoccurring nag I have for the show that happens in about half of the episodes are the licensed music tie-ins that feature some generic rock or pop song — it just doesn’t fit the mood of the show, or the atmosphere, very well.
Shooter is a competent, enjoyable show that’s worth checking out. The DVD release is barebones like most individual season releases these days, but it gets the job done for those desiring a physical copy.