Sniper: Assassin's End (Video 2020)

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Sniper: Assassin’s End: Directed by Kaare Andrews. With Chad Michael Collins, Sayaka Akimoto, Tom Berenger, Ryan Robbins. Legendary sniper Thomas Beckett and his son, Special Ops Sniper Brandon Beckett, are on the run from the CIA, Russian Mercenaries, and a Yakuza-trained assassin with sniper skills that rival both legendary sharp shooters.

“I think it would be fair to say the films in the sniper franchise have consistently varied in quality. Since the original, the movies have never been big-budget Hollywood grade spectacles, and Assassinu0026#39;s End continues this trend, whilst also being tonally different. The eighth installment has a sense of humor, and a desire to just have fun, something the other films had trouble with, considering the overly serious execution. I imagine, this tonal shift will put diehard fans of the formula off. Casual fans however, such as myself, will potentially find this addition to the franchise quite refreshing.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eOccasionally, the B-grade nature of the film really pops out at the viewer, revealing the obvious limits in budgeting. Realism is sacrificed when a squad of soldiers is actually just a couple of men; explosions are kept to an absolute minimum; and the main antagonists could feature in a James Bond knock-off, twirling a moustache.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eLiberties are taken to get the narrative moving; example, a character just leaving their destinationu0026#39;s coordinates lying around; hmmm, unlikely. The movieu0026#39;s attempts to have its audience suspect the intentions of multiple characters additionally makes for a jarring experience, while for a film in the u0026#39;sniperu0026#39; series, there is sometimes a little less sniping, with this sequel working as a pseudo-detective narrative.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eOur boy, Brandon (Chad Michael Collins) is enjoying his first vacation – until he isnu0026#39;t, whereby heu0026#39;s arrested for an assassination we, the audience, know he didnu0026#39;t commit (think of the frame jobs in u0026#39;The Art of Waru0026#39; and u0026#39;Jack Reacheru0026#39; for comparison). Franklin (Lochlyn Munro), the agent in charge of investigating, is the typical cop who believes heu0026#39;s found his man, the filmu0026#39;s suspension of disbelief taking a hit when much of the concrete evidence is merely talked about, instead of shown.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eRosenberg (Ryan Robbins) however, is far more interesting. Hired by the titular u0026#39;Colonelu0026#39; (note, Dennis Haysbert makes no appearance in this movie), his task is to find out the truth, no matter the cost, occasionally playing hard and loose with the law. Despite his dedication to the job, he also serves as the comic relief, tossing sarcastic quips like hand grenades into conversations, many of which actually land.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eFeeling he has no other choice to prove his innocence, Brandon escapes custody and seeks out his father, Thomas (Tom Berenger), who, in this feature, really leans into being a hermit. There is a good back and forth between them, which is quite amazing considering the lack of familial chemistry in previous films. The plot finds time for a back-story to make Thomas appear more fatherly, their bond feeling more genuine for it.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eWhen it comes to the main antagonists, who use voice modifiers to conceal their identity, and are in the movie for no more than a few minutes, they come off as clichéd and unentertaining, their motivations receiving the most menial of explanations. On that note, ironically, it is Lady Death (Sayaka Akimoto), whou0026#39;s probably one of the best parts of the film – and not just because sheu0026#39;s more beautiful than Aphrodite. An assassin, hired to take out Brandon, she makes up for the flawed nature of the other villains by being multi-faceted; demonstrating ruthlessness, whilst also maintaining a code. She is played up as a distinct threat, and can match the Becketts on the field of battle. Furthermore, her introduction is perhaps one of the best for villains across this franchise – though, for such a skilled actress, she is criminally underused.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eCamera techniques, including splitting the screen into panels to show multiple perspectives, and the use of the Hitchcockian dolly zoom, not only increases tension during scenes, but brings character to the visual process. The title screen is equally memorable, with retro text popping up as though weu0026#39;re in a night club; or an u0026#39;80s inspired arcade game, having a distinct connection with one of the filmu0026#39;s characters. The music is very electronic, and even when it isnu0026#39;t, the dark charm of the track speaks to the characters and plot.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eIn a story of interwoven conspiracies, depth often feels to have been left on the cutting room floor; this is a strictly turn-your-brain-off kind of flick. Despite some absurdities, that detracts from the realistically gritty tone the series is known for, the featureu0026#39;s self-awareness, use of comic relief and humor, goes a long way to refreshing the franchiseu0026#39;s formulaic structure. The inclusion of some new blood, some of whom will hopefully return in sequels (though letu0026#39;s not hold our breath) makes the film even more watchable. Iu0026#39;m not going to say this was the best film in the series to date, though in many ways, it stands above others.”


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