Tuesday, 20 December 2011
SNIPER: RELOADED (2011)
Directed by: Claudio Fah
Written by: John Fasano & Ross Helford
Starring: Chad Michael Collins, Annabel Wright & Billy Zane
The original Sniper (starring Tom Berenger and Billy Zane) is an underrated gem from the 90s action heyday. Taught, well acted and shot in some awesome looking jungles it was a tense and entertaining little action movie. Berenger returned for two sequels (Part 2 was decent with some corking action; Part 3 was a bit of a damp squib) and while he jumps ship for the fourth go around, good old Billy Zane is back for what is a truly decent sequel. Berenger’s character might not be around this time but his son is (played by Chad Michael Collins) who, non surprisingly, is a highly skilled and efficient soldier. Stationed in South Africa, Sgt Brandon Beckett sees his squad wiped out by a ruthless sniper when they attempt to rescue a European farmer stuck in hostile rebel territory. Swearing revenge, he enlists the aid of ace sniper Richard Miller (Zane) who was trained by Brandon’s father and the scene is set for a high powered rifle showdown
Now this may be the fourth entry in a somewhat low budget action franchise but this is a straight-to-DVD sequel done right. The makers frame a decent story and decent characters we actually care for around all the action. Coupled with the picturesque African setting and vistas, director Claudio Fah (Hollow Man 2) and his team certainly get the most out of their modest budget. Good to see Billy Zane back in the franchise, who, despite what appears to be him wearing his own personal wardrobe in certain scenes, acts as the tough and caring mentor to Collins' more by-the-book Beckett. Chad Michael Collins, looking a little like he didn’t make the cut for a new boy band, is impressive as the tough Beckett and makes for an effective action hero. He gives it his all and really infuses his character with personality meaning we give a damn once the bullets starting flying.
Fah wisely builds to the action, mounting tension and orchestrating some excellent scenes of fire powered fuelled action. The initial attack on Becket’s squad is excellently staged (complete with groovy cameras mounted on the barrels of guns shots) and the high powered rifle showdown doesn’t disappoint either with one unlucky sod literally losing his head! This all makes Sniper: Reloaded a thoroughly enjoyable fourquel and a highly satisfying action flick that is well made and keeps a lesser known franchise chugging along with new life breathed into it.