In the third installment in the Sniper series, Tom Berenger (Platoon) returns as Thomas Beckett, a now aging Master Gunnery Sergeant. I found that the movie was fairly entertaining, but unless you enjoy the occasional bad action flick, this one probably won't appeal to you. The plot isn't very good, the action sometimes seems a bit too cheesy, there's limited character development, and even worse, some of the characters are pretty awful. In other words, this really isn't a very good movie. However, I did find that I enjoyed it, but before we dive into that we'll cover a little bit about what makes this a bad movie.
The story of this movie is pretty weak, hollow, and not surprisingly, slightly hard to stomach. Beckett is given a mission that turns out to be more than he bargained for. He is sent to Vietnam to remove a former-CIA-operative-turned-drug-lord-and-former-friend from the world on what will most likely be his last mission. With the aid of a Vietnamese police officer -slash- undercover NSA agent Quan (Byron Mann Street Fighter), they track down Beckett's former friend, only to find out "the disturbing truth". The reason that this plot isn't very good is that it's all introduced in the early stages of the film-the first ten minutes. After that, there really isn't a lot of development in the story. Of course, there are some slight advancements in plot. For instance, "the disturbing truth" is revealed, but it's really not that disturbing, but rather ridiculous in its lack of realism.
Furthermore, the character roles are not all necessarily convincing. John Doman plays Finnegan, who is the corrupt CIA operative turned drug lord. The role is almost laughable. He is very unconvincing as a villain. But I wouldn't pinpoint the blame on Doman's acting skills, but rather his scripted role. The role was just not developed very well. In addition, the other characters were not developed a great deal. Even the main character Beckett gets very little focus and when there is some development, it doesn't always fit in well. I think that this film assumes you are already familiar with Beckett from the earlier films. Having not seen either of them, I knew nothing of Beckett. Quite frankly, I still really don't.
However, this brings me to the one thing I liked about this film. While the story, the characters (in general), and the dialogue weren't very good, I really did like Beckett's role. He's your average tired of life, fed up with authority, I'll do it my own way kind of guy. In some respects he's a very likeable guy. For that reason alone, I found that I was greatly intrigued by Beckett and wanted to see more, only to get to know his character. Unfortunately to do so, you'll probably have to associate yourself with the earlier films, because Sniper 3 won't give you a great insight to who Beckett is.
Overall, this movie has its shortcomings and for that reason it won't appeal to the masses. So unless you find yourself watching a lot of Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone films, you'll probably want to skip out on this one.
The video in this release is given in 1.85:1 ratio anamorphic widescreen color. The picture quality is pretty good, with a very sharp and clean picture. There are some traces of grain, which are apparent during the darker scenes of the movie.
The audio in this release is given in two formats, English 5.1 Dolby digital surround sound and French 2.0 Dolby digital stereo sound. The audio tracks provide a clean sound, which is very audible. The dialogue is fairly flat, but sound effects are fairly rich and vibrant. There is some pretty good distinction between audio channels, but the majority comes from the forward channels. There are also subtitles in English, French, Chinese, Korean, and Thai.
There are no extras with this release.
Sniper 3 isn't a really great movie. It has far too many shortcomings that will cause most people to quickly dismiss it. However, I found that it was remotely enjoyable, enough for a rental. However, this was mainly because I was intrigued by the main role of Master Gunnery Sergeant Beckett. While his role was not clearly developed in this film, there's enough to make him an attractive character to want to get to know more. Unfortunately, you'll probably need to see the earlier Sniper films to do so and gauging the quality of this film, that's probably not something everyone will want to do. The bottom line is that if you enjoy bad action movies, this one should appeal to you.