Sniper: Ultimate Kill (2017)

Sniper: Ultimate Kill (2017)- * *1\2

Directed by: Cladio Fah

Starring: Chad Michael Collins, Tom Berenger, Joe Lando, Juan Calero, Felipe Calero, Danay Garcia, and Billy Zane

Our longtime friend Thomas Beckett (Berenger, of course) is now working for the DEA in Colombia. He’s down there because a drug lord named Jesus Morales (Juan Calero) is causing all sorts of havoc and mayhem by employing a sniper named El Diablo (Felipe Calero) to eliminate his enemies using the latest in high tech sniping technology. Beckett’s son Brandon (Collins), who is also an expert sniper (as you may remember if you’ve seen the latest spate of Sniper films) also travels to Colombia to try and take down Jesus Morales and El Diablo. Working with local agent Kate Estrada (Garcia) as well as John Samson (Lando), and, of course, Miller (Zane), will the power of everyone involved be enough to stop the sniper-on-sniper violence?

Here’s a question: why are there SEVEN Sniper movies to date? No, really. We demand answers. I want someone to explain to me why these stories need to be told over and over again. That, really is the main problem with this, the latest installment in the Sniper saga. It’s not a bad movie. It’s really not. It’s competently made, and delivers pretty much what you’d expect of a DTV Sniper movie from 2017. But that’s just it – I think it’s fair to say that this series has overstayed its welcome at this point, and even the movie at its best can’t overcome that. 

While it was nice to see both Berenger and Zane back together, they mostly stayed in an office capacity while young sniper Brandon got in on the action. Not to tempt any filmmakers out there who may be considering a Sniper 8, but we had an idea for what this movie should’ve been. The evil sniper puts Brandon in the hospital, so Berenger and Zane have to go back into the field even though they’re getting on in years, to put their combined skills together to get revenge and show they’re still the ultimate snipers. Well, the offer is on the table. Get in touch if you’re interested.

While Brandon is called “the best”, and he still calls his own father “Master Guns”, the problem is that Chad Michael Collins is still bland and faceless. You don’t know what he looks like even when you’re looking right at him. That aside, we do get some “bullet time” for a new generation, and there is a good amount of violence and nudity – probably because the filmmakers have to compete with big-budget Hollywood product like Shooter (2007) and Sicario (2015). Sometimes it tries to be overly slick, but not as bad as some other DTV outings we’ve seen.

We assume there has to be an audience for this, otherwise they wouldn’t keep making them. We applaud fan favorites Berenger and Zane for still even wanting to be involved. While, as we said, the movie itself isn’t bad, we can’t really recommend it unless you’re a die-hard Sniper fan. We suspect there’s only so much sniping a human being can reasonably stand.

Comeuppance Review by: Ty and Brett


Sniper: Ghost Shooter (2016)

Sniper: Ghost Shooter (2016)- * *

Directed by: Don Michael Paul

Starring: Chad Michael Collins, Dominic Mafham, Billy Zane, and Dennis Haysbert

Brandon Beckett (Collins) and Richard Miller (Zane) return yet again for another look through the reticule, this time tasked with protecting a gas pipeline in Turkey and Eastern Europe from terrorists. When Beckett mouths off to his superior officer, he’s sent to the high reaches of the Caucasus Mountains so he can go snipe in the snow. It’s there he links up with some local snipers who want to join the fight against the baddies. Meanwhile, Colonel (that’s all he’s credited as) (Haysbert) is running things from behind the scenes. Will the team all get along? Will they fight against one more evil sniper? Who will make it to the next sequel? Find out today…?

So here we are on the sixth and, as of this writing, penultimate film in the inexplicably lengthy Sniper film series. Honestly, we’re running out of things to say. We’re trying hard not to be repetitive. I mean, we’re trying hard not to be repetitive. But obviously we’re putting more effort into that endeavor than the makers of the Sniper series are. We’re now at Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street levels in the sequel sweepstakes. Who knew?

Sure, Ghost Shooter commits a couple of the seven deadly DTV sins we’re always railing against, such as the fact that there’s no one strong, central villain, there is an over-reliance on CGI, such as in the computerized blood, smoke, missiles and, in an especially ridiculous moment, a CGI helicopter, and there are many scenes in darkness where no lights are turned on or, evidently, even considered to be important.

The plot is weak and character development is nil. Chad Michael Collins is, you guessed it, still bland and faceless. All that being said, the movie isn’t a total trainwreck; Billy Zane, as usual, enlivens the proceedings, seemingly effortlessly. Dennis Haysbert’s presence is also not just welcome, but desperately needed to give life to what we’re seeing onscreen. Dominic Mafham isn’t in it that much but he adds something to the scenes he’s in. The locations are picturesque, and we get references to current events when our heroes fight ISIS. There’s even a nod to the old school with a couple of guard tower falls.

It should be noted that the main bone of contention as it relates to all the conflict and action is called the Gazsnab Pumping Station. A lot of people get shot over something with such a funny name. 

Of course, there’s a lot of shooting and sniping action (with all the military jargon that would imply), but without any suspense or character development, it gets boring fast. Things would pick up a bit in the subsequent installment, but we tend to think there isn’t a lot of ammo left in the chamber.

Comeuppance Review by: Ty and Brett