Posted March 1, 2012 by David Watson in DVD/Blu-ray
 
 

The Sniper


Recruited into Hong Kong’s elite Special Duties Unit (SDU), rookie cop OJ (Edison Chen) is determined to become its top sniper, surpassing mentor and commanding officer Hartman (Richie Ren) achievements.

Recruited into Hong Kong’s elite Special Duties Unit (SDU), rookie cop
OJ (Edison Chen) is determined to become its top sniper, surpassing mentor and
commanding officer Hartman (Richie Ren) achievements.

But the past is about to come
back to haunt Hartman as former friend and rival, disgraced SDU sniper Lincoln
(Xiaoming Huang) returns to Hong
Kong after being released from prison.
Sentenced to four years for accidentally shooting a hostage during a
botched bank raid, Lincoln is out for justice, determined to avenge himself on
the man he blames for ruining his life: Hartman.

As Lincoln plays cat-and-mouse
with Hartman, bringing chaos to the streets of Hong Kong, the stage is set for
a showdown between the three snipers as they hunt each other through an
abandoned warehouse. But who will
emerge as the top sniper…?

At a slender 90 minutes, The Sniper is never going to be
mistaken for a subtle, philosophical character study of the men who hunt the
most dangerous game but it is enjoyable, if slightly over-ripe, tosh. Stuffed full of crowd-pleasing action
scenes that kinda remind you of other, better, action movies and those
ever-popular ‘bullet in flight’ shots familiar from EVERY. SINGLE. MOVIE. ABOUT. SNIPERS.
EVER. MADE, The Sniper passes the time and doesn’t
overstay its welcome but it has none of the invention we’ve come to expect from
the top-drawer Hong Kong movies of yesteryear.

Don’t expect the balletic beauty
of John Woo, the moral ambiguity of Andrew Lau and Alan Mak or the grit and darkness of Ringo Lam, instead what we have in The Sniper is a simple tale of master and student, with the young
apprentice briefly being seduced by the glamorous Dark Side a la Star Wars, before remembering to the
teachings of his wise mentor and blowing away the bad guy.

It also features the most
homoerotic training scenes this side of Top
Gun
. The film never directly
clarifies if firing a huge penis substitute heavy calibre rifle with your shirt off, your chest bare and your
sweat-oiled pecs gleaming in the sunlight makes you a more accurate shot or not
but Lam is obviously of the opinion that it can’t hurt. If you are a gay gun fetishist, or
maybe just curious about gay gun fetishism as a lifestyle, The Sniper is definitely the action movie you’ve been waiting for.


David Watson

 
David Watson is a screenwriter, journalist and 'manny' who, depending on time of day and alcohol intake could be described as a likeable misanthrope or a carnaptious bampot. He loves about 96% of you but there's at least 4% he'd definitely eat in the event of a plane crash. Email: david.watson@filmjuice.com