Taking a look at 2004’s “Sniper 3” starring Tom Berenger and Byron Mann.
I picked this up at the Dollar Tree during one of their rare DVD sales. I was sort of surprised because while I had watched the original “Sniper” which also starred Berenger and Billy Zane,I had no idea they had made any sequels.
The plot has Marine sniper Thomas Beckett still in the service as a sniper but previous battle damage from a long career is starting to erode his impressive skills. While he has earned to cope with a missing trigger finger (from the first movie),drinking a little too much and what appears to be the onset of Parkinson’s is going to force him to retire if he fails a upcoming psychical exam.
Life isn’t all bad,he has grown close to a widow of a friend who was killed in Nam. While taking things very slowly,you can see the sparks between the two.
As Beckett is getting ready for an exam,one that his superior is setting him up to fail,the NSA director pops up and wants Beckett for a top secret mission. The Marine brass offer younger,stronger men but the NSA wants Beckett because Beckett knows the target- personally.
Beckett is to meet one CIA asset,a Vietnamese policeman named Quan (Mann) to help him get close to either saving his target or using his skills to take him out.
So as I was reading the box cover of the movie,I was a bit surprised to see Sony had put this movie out. Not too surprised because it seems a lot of the big studios are putting out small films based on one hit movie. The main film establishes the franchise and then the studios will churn out movies under the title. Most films don’t carry over the big name casts and are often made on MUCH smaller budgets for the “straight to home video market”.
So while the original “Sniper” came out in 1993 at the theaters,Sniper 2 and Sniper 3 did not. But what makes this a little different is the fact Berenger came back for both films. Was it the paycheck or did he really like his Beckett character? Based on this film,I would pick the latter,Berenger worked hard in this movie and it shows on screen. The action isn’t overwhelming and the plot is a little threadbare but the cast is solid.
A couple of small things might make you chuckle as Beckett is supposed to be in Vietnam while you see all the signage on shops and roads is in Thai,as in Thailand. And on a couple of scenes,you can see Beckett’s “missing” finger. Small quibbles to otherwise a pretty worthy popcorn flick.
The movie is rated R but more for language then sheer violence.
The Sniper series is still underway with Sniper:Legacy being released last year.
I gave this a thumbs up and the cheetah fell asleep half way through.