Shooter (15th Anniversary) – Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Although Antoine Fuqua directed one of my favorite films of all-time (Training Day), his career has been a roller coaster of good and bad movies. In 2007, his film Shooter teeters on the side of mediocre. Be that as it may, Fuqua’s direction seemingly saved the film since Shooter is the kind of film that could’ve been much worse. It’s entertaining and features some fine performances, but unfortunately, Shooter suffers from every stereotype from every conspiracy theory thriller. So, not only does it steal from the best, but it also steals from some of the worst. For example, from the start, Shooter seemingly follows the beginnings of every season of 24

It’s so evident Bob Lee Swagger (Mark Wahlberg) is getting set up that it’s a surprise that he didn’t see it himself. Worse yet, that seems to be a central theme with all characters. These characters in Shooter are all intelligent, but clearly, common sense isn’t a part of their characteristics. Although they know they’re getting set up, these characters still go along with it. Since, of course, there wouldn’t be a movie if they kept things safe. Unfortunately, the screenwriters don’t do a decent job hiding the conspiracy plot. Then it gets even worse, as each twist gets more laughable as the movie progresses.

Mark Whalberg delivers another fantastic performance. At this point in his career, he’s established himself as an A-list actor with films like The Departed and We Own the Night. Not to be outdone, Michael Peña and Danny Glover are both excellent in their respective roles. 

Overall, Shooter is a pretty forgettable movie. The film is entertaining for what it is, but it’s also nothing you haven’t seen before. Nevertheless, excellent performances, Antoine Fuqua’s skillful direction, and exciting action sequences help keep this film afloat.

Movie Rating: 3/5 atoms

Video

Shooter hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with a Dolby Vision/HDR10 transfer and a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The improvements are immediately evident thanks to the addition of Dolby Vision. Due to Antoine Fuqua’s visual style for Shooter, the picture contrast is high, which leads to brighter, crisper whites and gorgeous deep blacks. Yet the brilliance of Shooter‘s use of Dolby Vision comes with the color grading. You’ll find vibrant colors throughout the film, and there’s a depth and saturation to the palette that only Ultra HD can deliver.

Not to mention, the detail clarity is superb. Yes, this is more of a “recent” release, but that still doesn’t deter the fact that the image looks crisp. So, every sweat bead and stubble on Mark Wahlberg’s face is clearly visible. As for the film grain, it’s minimal and complementary. As a result, the picture has a filmic look that fits this kind of political action thriller.

Video Rating: 5/5 atoms

Audio

Shooter hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. While it’s disappointing to see that there’s no Dolby Atmos mix, the 5.1 DTS-HD track is still a capable one. The track is full-sounding and energetic—something you’ll notice right at the start when all of the chaos ensues. Gunshots, crowd noise, and explosions fill the surround channels perfectly, while the fronts are accurate and well-defined. Not to mention, the action-packed atmospherics pulls the audience right into the flick. Unfortunately, the rest of Shooter doesn’t sound as dynamic. There’s a lack of immersion during the quieter moments of the film. Seemingly, only the outdoor and nature scenes feature a bit of atmosphere. Dialogue is excellent on both tracks, with volume balance pitch-perfect. Mark Mancina’s score usually takes up most of the real estate to keep the mix from becoming totally quiet. With the dialogue, it’s clear and well-prioritized.

Audio Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Special Features

Shooter contains the following special features on the Ultra HD Blu-ray disc:

  • Survival of the Fittest: The Making of Shooter
  • Independence Hall
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Deleted Scenes
Features Assessment

Other than Antoine Fuqua’s audio commentary, every bonus features from previous Blu-ray releases make their way here. Survival of the Fittest isn’t your typical behind-the-scenes featurette. Instead, most of this feature has Shooter‘s technical advisor, ex-Gunnery Sergeant Patrick Garrity, focusing on snipers and the training and technology required to portray them accurately on film. Independence Hall breaks down the movie’s crucial assassination scene and showcases how it was staged and created. The deleted scenes don’t add anything of value to the theatrical cut, but there are a few entertaining scenes there.

Special Features Rating: 3.5/5 atoms


Overall, Shooter is a mediocre conspiracy theory thriller, but its excellent performances and the direction of Antoine Fuqua are what ultimately save the film. The video transfer is stupendous despite some questionable creative aesthetics. However, it’s disappointing to see a lack of Dolby Atmos in this release, but the DTS-HD audio track is still a capable mix. The holdover bonus features are still great, but it’s disappointing that it lacks new content for an anniversary release.

Overall Rating: 4/5 atoms

Shooter is now available in stores on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Paramount Home Entertainment.

Facebook Comments