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神鎗手 (2009)
The Sniper

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 06/24/2009
Summary: Not that great

Edison Chen plays a new addition to the sniper unit of the SDU. After a former member is released from jail and begins to take his revenge, Edison must face a trial by fire.

The Sniper is a plodding movie that really goes nowhere. Director Dante Lam tries to throw in lots of camera tricks and plot twists, but nothing adds anything to the film except padding the running time and extending the viewer's boredom.

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 04/21/2009
Summary: now, hold your breath...

oj (edison chen) is a rookie in the sniper division (or whatever they're called) of the hong kong police. his mentor, throughout his training, is hartman (richie ren), but the reputation of an ex-sniper, lincoln (huang xiao-ming), hangs over both men. lincoln was one of the best, if not the best, but his maverick actions led to him spending four years in jail and hartman fears that oj is heading down a similar path. there's trouble brewing...

well, my second dante lam film in a three week period and, after thinking that 'the beast stalker' was pretty bad, 'the sniper' is another film that just kinda fails. my initial thoughts, whilst walking out of the cinema at the end, was that there were definitely a few sequences and moments which i enjoyed, but that dante lam was a hack. sure, there are a couple of bits which were a fun watch but, as seems to be the case, lam feels the need to throw every little trick and gimmick, that he has at his disposal, into the film. the same was true with the aforementioned 'the beast stalker', but there is just more of it here: narrative twists, flashbacks, cod psychological insights and some heavy stylisation.

it may seem crazy to say it, but perhaps the best thing about this movie is edison. i know, madness. yeah, he's not that bad as a cocksure, slightly annoying, kind of a guy, but then again, is it too much of a stretch for him to get into character for this one?

any how, in the end, the film just feels like an excuse to show some sniping sequences - some good and some poor - and for dante lam to dip into his well worn box of rather tiresome narrative devices. if the guy just made a straight up, character based piece, closer to 'beast cops', i'm pretty sure that he could pull of something good again; he just needs to stop trying to be too clever and falling on his face as a result.

probably best ignored...