Following hot on the heels of Sniper: Reloaded (The Return of Zane) in which Gunny Beckett’s son named Brandon Beckett won mad Tom Berenger awards for racking up baddies by the boatload, Sniper: Ghost Shooter (Zane is an under-utilized national asset) sees Brandon put back into the shit against the backdrop of Central Asian pipeline politics.
I saw the original sniper back in the 1990’s on VHS tape when I was a kid and was completely overwhelmed by how cool Berenger was. That dude was a certified badass despite having to be paired up with greenhorn Zane and his Gucci-flage. Tom Berenger’s dynamo performance in the original sniper is perhaps the only portrayal of a soldier that has put more young men into the military than Arnold’s team of mercs in Predator, especially Mac who was the most badass mofo on the crew.
Fast forward to 2017 and we see in the first scene that Zane is leading the wet-dream of a coordinated sniper ambush by an entire team against ISIS executioners about to kill some western hostages in Syria.
Now I realize that the hotsheets you pick up at the grocery store have been telling you that the SAS and Kurdish women have more kills than cancer and have crippled more children than polio in Syria, but as Zane extracts hot kill brass from his long gun in the Jihadi death fields there can be no disputing who the world’s greatest sniper is. Alas, Beckett is getting trigger shy and compromises the op by hesitating in what could be the cherryist move in this storied franchise.
From here we are treated to some of the mandatory mainstays of the action movie genre in which Brandon Beckett flirts with an undercover CIA hottie before being banished to the Georgian mountains to kill a metric shit ton of Chechen rebels with Spetsnaz dudes who drink a lot. But the real threat is the Ghost Shooter who is killing the Marine sniper team without leaving a trace.
Dennis Haysbert is featured in the film as mission commander, and towards the end he even grabs himself by his big JSOC commander balls, picks up a Kalash and starts mowing down Beardy McBeards with 7.62×39 lead hornets. Despite this, the main problem with the film is the lack of Zane. As a master sniper, Zane receives little screen time in exchange for propping up Berenger’s young and wimpy son as the star of the film despite all of us knowing that Zane is the new maestro of death.
As can be expected, the sugar pants blonde from the CIA fucks everything up leaving Beckett and Zane to save the day all while the Ghost Shooter is tagging their men with a high-powered SIG assault weapon of doom. In the end we are treated to exactly the ending we were expecting from the first minute of the movie, and the audience feels truly cheated due to the lack of Zane who is perhaps America’s most under-utilized national asset.
As a feature film, Sniper: Zane is an under-utilized national asset, it is clear that the producers made some effort to include authentic sniper kit (including hogs tooth necklaces made of 550 chord) but perhaps future scripts should be worked on by actual Marine Scout Snipers. It can’t be hard to get a squad sized-element of Marines in a conference room. After an hour of dirty jokes, decadent sex stories, and reminiscing about boot camp, one would think that the script would practically write itself.
I await the next installment in the sniper franchise, which was built by the house of Berenger, and eagerly await Zane’s rightful return to the spotlight.