The Sniper

2009 [CN]

Action / Crime / Thriller

IMDb Rating 5.5 10 2161

Plot summary

December 20, 2022 at 03:42 PM


Dante Lam

Top cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
798.11 MB
Chinese 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 26 min
P/S ...
1.6 GB
Chinese 5.1
23.976 fps
1 hr 26 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by DICK STEEL 6 / 10

A Nutshell Review: The Sniper

If not for the picture scandal, this film would have been released about a year ago, and would likely have solidified Edison Chen's position as box office draw given his stellar performance in crime-action flicks like Dog Eat Dog and Blood Brothers, and pop idol fare such as Initial D. But we know what had happened over the span of a year, though I suppose the decision to hold this film back would have helped it in increasing the curiosity surrounding this, given his last / first performance since the scandal. After all, the producers have to make the best out of the situation.

His character in Sniper is a typical Edison Chen persona – young, brash and impatient, toeing the line of the good and possessing that streak of arrogance. As OJ, he aspires to be the top shooter amongst the SDU Sniper Unit, and is mentored by the team leader Hartman (Richie Jen, who also starred as a sharpshooter in Johnnie To's Exiled) who discovered him during a mission, and is impressed by the upstart. Given the attributes of a sniper – confidence, decisiveness and ruthlessly accurate, egos are swelled and clashes are part of the game, where while it's a team effort, you can't deny those strong individual desire to excel above the rest.

The unfinished business of the earlier generation comes back to haunt the team in the form of the disgraced, and once top shooter Lincoln (Huang Xiaoming), who in a rash, negligent act gets sentenced to imprisonment, and upon release swears revenge on his once buddies. For a moment there was a tussle for the apprentice ala Star Wars style, where the young one found his training under his mentor too stifling and never appreciative of his abilities, and on the other, darker side, becomes seduced by sexier techniques which seem to be the path toward instant results and glory.

But alas the story unfortunately becomes quite fluffy, with the dramatic moments just excuses to string the action sequences together. The runtime under 90 minutes also provided a feeling that the film has been super summarized, given a lot of sub plots being introduced briefly, but never really reaching second base, especially with the relationships of the snipers and the opposite sex. You would wonder why they had even bothered to devote time to this aspect, just to know that the crazed nut Lincoln is terribly infatuated with his girlfriend, OJ's girlfriend is a one scene wonder, and Hartman's estranged wife lies comatose most of the time, waking only to shed tears and raise her voice. I guess in a sniper's life, the only "wife" they take care of, as in the prologue, is their rifles, to protect it with their life or professionally, they're screwed.

Dante Lam's star has been shining rather brightly, and I have enjoyed his recent effort in Beast Stalker. Here, he crafted some wonderful sniper action scenes without resorting too much on the looking-through-the-scope syndrome, striking a balance in being instructional, yet adequately paced to be tension-filled. What I appreciated is his fusion of that psychological element a sniper brings to the table, of the ability of how one man well hidden, and well trained, can take out a platoon or company, because of that element of fear that is introduced. Too bad for the many cardboard supporting villains and victims though, and that strange need to CG some dark clouds and fake lightning to drape many scenes.

Undoubtedly the show belongs to the ensemble cast in oozing machismo as they do battle, but you can't help but to feel that it is Edison who's pulling in the crowds in what could be his last hurrah. In a cruel twist of irony, his character here can't wait to talk to and provide snide remarks to the media, which is a far cry in the real situation he's in now. One can only wonder how things would have turned out if not for that moment of accidental folly.

Reviewed by kosmasp 6 / 10

HK Action in the Noughties?

I'm an avid fan of HK action in general. There are many great HK action movies. And even after John Woo went Hollywood (although he went back, his recent movie being Red Cliff, which was produced in Asia) there was someone (Johnnie To) who filled in his shoes. And he did a great job in doing so.

But this is a completely different "beast" we get here. This is obviously very "Hollywood"-style, very fast and unfortunately not very good. It has some good action scenes and the intentions of it's filmmaker is noble, but unfortunately it takes too long to get to places, which makes it drag a little. Not bad by any means, but not really what you could/would expect from a good HK Action movie either.

Reviewed by dbborroughs 7 / 10

Outside of the action set pieces the film feels thin, but when the film is on its great

Chinese action film isn't quite as good as the start promises, but it still a good way to spend time in the dark. The plot has a young cop recruited by the Hong Kong Police for their sniper corps after remaining cool under fire in the films opening set piece. From there the plot spins out as the young turk is trained, chafes at the by the book methods and flirts briefly with the dark side, in the form of an ex-sniper who wants revenge on the sniper corps. The action scenes are well done (especially considering there is only so much you can do with sniper rifles) and are the sort of thing that you really wouldn't mind seeing again (because you'd be surprised what you can do with sniper rifles). When the film is on it really works well. The problem is that the stuff away from the action or training sequences aren't as good as the rest of the film. Part of the problem is that there seems to be too many little side bits going on for an 85 minute movie. Things seem to be brought up and then are done away with and characters seem to come and go. Of course this being an action movie thats not why you're watching the film, however it would have been nice if the non-shooting bits hung together better so they film had more weight and didn't seem do breezy. Action film fans of all stripes will want to take a look.

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1 Comment

Joshua_Wong profile
Joshua_Wong December 20, 2022 at 03:29 pm

Any chance of uploading INSIDE THE RED BRICK WALL (2020). Filmed by an anonymous collective, the film captures the cat-and-mouse game played by protesters in Hong Kong and police in the early days of the siege, followed by days filled with hopelessness and desperation, as the demonstrators attempt to escape without being arrested, brutalized and murdered.