Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Sniper Elite

Directed by: John Lyde
Written by: Adam Abram
Starring: Matthew Reese, Nichelle Aiden, Paul D. Hunt, Jacque Gray, Scott Hanks & Kevin Sorbo

A somewhat unique blend of sci-fi and military action film, Sniper Elite certainly features a lot of rifle blasting action, along with plenty of fights and explosions, but also finds room for a bit of character and some serious sun drenched desert style. Kyle (Reese…ha!) is a badass soldier and the best sniper in the biz. Currently engaged in battle in the hot desert fending off invading alien forces, his squad is decimated and he is left to run for his life through the arid landscape. With his trusty rifle by his side, Kyle is able to keep himself alive, fight off the relentless alien troops all the while trying to get to a safe zone so he can be picked up and rescued. However, and if harsh landscapes and machine gun-toting aliens wasn’t enough to contend with, he comes to the rescue of an alien female left for dead in the desert. With the otherworldly forces ever closing in and an alien babe to get to safety (and to try and trust), Kyle must use all his combat and sniper skills to stay alive and get to safety.

Despite the low budget and the single location setting (though the desert is ever sprawling meaning the filmmakers use it very creatively), Sniper Elite is some slick fun. It can’t always make the drama elements gel with the action ones, as certain scenes are dragged out and played so po-faced serious that proceedings occasionally become a bit of a slog. Not that it should be action, action, action but the blossoming relationship between the hero and the alien babe does mean things slow down once they’re just getting going. Plus, we also get Kevin Sorbo’s captain/general/big cheese up in the sky on a space station watching everything happening below on video screens and, seemingly, giving us viewers an update on what is happening. It’s always nice to see Sorbo, but his scenes feel a little shoe horned in, clash with the scorching desert visuals and means events keep having to cut back to the space station for a quick update: there’s plenty happening down in the desert, lets just watch that!

While there are dips into molasses pacing (though credit to the filmmakers for making the first 30 minutes so engaging with barely any dialogue spoken), Sniper Elite still brings the big guns in the action department. The big guns being the massive sniper rifles utilized in several bullet blasting action scenes and there are plenty of rough and tough fights and explosions also. Sure slow motion is used a tad much but with scenes where you can see exactly what is going all the time, the action is often fluid and full on. The desert locations, and some fine photography, also give the film a slick visual aesthetic and, to be honest, the premise of a tooled up soldier battling armour-clad aliens in the desert is all one needs for some slick sci-fi tinged crunchy action fun.


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