April 05, 2007
The Gun Nut Takes Aim At Shooter
By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily
The movie, that is. Starring Mark Wahlberg as retired Marine Gunnery Sergeant and scout/sniper Bob Lee Swagger. Since the non-shooting public gets most of its information on guns from films like this, I figured why not go see it and look for all its little glitches and miscues.
Before Shooter came onscreen, I was forced to sit through trailers for six new films that seemed to consist mostly of car crashes. I remember a time when trailers were mostly Indians being shot off horses, or closeups of Clark Gable trying to get his tongue around Lana Turner’s tonsils. But now it’s car crashes. Anyway…
*In the first scene, Gunny Swagger and his spotter are about to shoot at bad guys and the spotter is calling off distances in yards. The military has been metric since the 1960s.
*A few minutes later, Gunny Swagger shoots down a helicopter with a .50 BMG rifle, cranking off a dozen shots or so with no hearing protection. In real life, he would never hear anything again. Ever.
*Gunny Bob Lee (now Ret.) takes a shot at a can of Dinty Moore Beef Stew at 2000 yards with his .50 BMG bolt-action. He is now wearing earmuffs, but his massive, beer-drinking dog is lying alongside the rifle only a few yards away. In real life, at the pull of the trigger, the dog would run off in 50-foot bounds, emitting howls of agony at every leap. What the Gunny has against Dinty Moore is not explained.
* To save the life of an FBI agent, the Gunny shoots four bad guys in the head with a .22 rimfire at 200 yards from offhand while standing in a rowboat on a river.
* The FBI agent had been fitted with a prosthetic device—an arm brace--designed to force him to shoot himself in the head. There might be a market for something like this in the real world.
* Kate Mara, an extremely hot babe who plays Sarah Fenn, the heroine of the film, shoots one of the bad guys with a Beretta M92 which has been taken, unfired, from another villain. The slide locks open after only 4 shots. Why did the bad guy load only 4 rounds in a magazine that holds 17?
* At the end of the film, Ret. Gunny Bob Lee proves his innocence by revealing that he has swapped the firing pins in all his rifles, rendering them inert. Do I have to comment on this?
Best line in the film: Bob Lee says, “I’m just a redneck peckerwood who lives alone with too many guns.”
Go see it. It’s a lot of fun and, as I said, Kate Mara is some hottie.