March 23, 2007, - 12:19 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
To update Mark Twain, there are lies, damn lies, and Hollywood movies.
The latest Hollywood offering starring “former” thug Mark Wahlberg–”Shooter“–is the epitome of that. It’s in theaters today and looks like a great movie, with all of its cool shooting and explosion scenes. On the contrary, it is anything but.
Aside from being a sad combo rip-off of “Enemy of the State” and “Rambo II,” this movie is a withering attack not just on the Bush Administration and our soldiers in Iraq, it is a flat-out attack on America with no basis in fact.
The movie begins with a scene of genius Marine sharpshooter Bob Lee Swagger (Wahlberg) taking out Ethiopian soldiers a mile away with a single shot. He’s that good. But the American soldiers in what he believes is a legitimate military operation decide to cut and run and abandon him and deny his existence. Disgruntled, he retires from the military to a rustic mountain log cabin.
Then, the plot gets preposterous. A group of men–one of whom identifies himself as a Colonel (Danny Glover, not a word of whose dialogue you can decipher)–come to visit him and appeal to his patriotism. But for a smart guy, he sure is stupid.
The men tell Swagger that an “inside man” wants to assassinate the President in the next two weeks. They want him to plan his own assassination as a sharpshooter and report back to them on how it would be possible to kill the President, so they can prevent it (riiiiight). And they want him to go with them to the scene of the likely assassination scenario to help them “spot” the shooter. (Yeah, even more believable. NOT.) Without verifying who they are in the least, Swagger immediately agrees to participate.
And–surprise! surprise!–they frame him for an attempted assassination of the Commander in Chief. It’s not like I’m spoiling the movie for you. All of this is in the trailer. And any ninny with a base IQ would know this dude is being set up. Come on.
But what will actually spoil the movie for you are the stark, absurd political statements in the movie. In the end, these mysterious plotters–who are apparently a rogue CIA operation working with an overdramatic, corrupt U.S. Senator (but it’s never really clear who they are)–were really out to kill an Ethiopian Bishop who was going to speak out against American corruption.
You see, America has been raping, torturing, and mass-murdering whole Ethiopian villages for years. And we’ve been doing it all to get cheap oil. Aside from the fact that gas is yet again nearing post-$3 levels per gallon, the fact is that America hasn’t and doesn’t rape, torture, or mass-murder, ANYONE in Ethiopia . . . or even Africa. No, that would be the Muslim Arab government of Sudan, which was doing that to its own people, until they wiped out its Black Christian population, and is now doing the same to its Black Muslims.
But, hey, why tell the truth, when an absurd movie plot can frame and blame America instead? That’s so much more exciting, right?
Then there are the obnoxious statements riddled throughout this movie and even its . . . wardrobe?! Actor Mark Pena, playing an incompetent FBI agent, wears a Che Guevara T-shirt. Nothing like a side of Che chic to go with the main course of America-hatred.
Mark Wahlberg delivers several monologues against the country that made this accused attempted-murderer and drug dealer into a multi-millionaire and Academy Award Nominee, including dialogue like this:
This is a country where the Secretary of Defense can tell the entire country on TV that it’s about freedom, not oil. Because it’s all a big lie.
Abu Ghraib–We knew their [the few U.S. soldiers who participated)bosses knew.
We killed raped, tortured, and killed people for oil in Ethiopia.
Since he has a lot of lines against America’s presence in Iraq and the lack of WMDs, it’s clear Ethiopia is a proxy for Iraq in this movie.
And Wahlberg goes on and on and on and on about how America is a criminal country (and that’s beside the utterances of other characters about the conspiracy on the Grassy Knoll in the JFK assassination).
Well, here’s a little news (for anyone planning to see “Shooter”) on the identity of the real criminal:
In 1988, Wahlberg, after a series of arrests (he’s an admitted car thief and drug dealer), attacked a Vietnamese immigrant. Respected news sources say he took the man’s eye out with a meathook, in order to steal his beer. But I can’t see the full details of his assault because Wahlberg–who was 17 and tried as an adult–had the records sealed, according to officials at Boston’s Suffolk County courthouse. The one court document that was mysteriously obtained by The Smoking Gun states that in the process, Wahlberg called the man a “Vietnam f-cking shit.” When police brought him to the victim to have him identified, Wahlberg responded:
You don’t have to let him identify me. I’ll tell you now that’s the mother-f-cker whose head I split open.
Wahlberg was charged with attempted murder and was sentenced to two years in the Massachusetts’ Deer Island House of Corrections. He served only 45 days.
Before that, in 1986, Wahlberg was convicted of assaulting a 12-year-old Black boy and his brother and sister near Wahlberg’s Dorchester neighborhood. Wahlberg and two friends chased them on bikes, through rocks at them, and told them:
We don’t like Black ni–ers in the area so get the f-ck away from the area.
While throwing the rocks, Wahlberg and friends yelled:
Kill the ni–er. Kill the ni–er.
A Black girl was hit by one of the rocks.
Wahlberg bragged to USA Weekend:
I was arrested so many times.
In another interview, he bragged that the number of arrests was in the teens or twenties.
And he bragged to ABC’s “Nightline” that he has never contacted the Vietnamese victim he mutilated or his other victims (to apologize or make things right) because he doesn’t feel he has to. He’s “made amends” by making a lot of money in successful pop music, modeling, and acting careers. He says he sleeps very well at night.
This is the kind of man who stars in a movie calling America a criminal nation and our generals and lesser-ranked soldiers criminals, rapists, and murderers for oil.
Wahlberg claims this movie
speaks to the sort of stuff we as a country are going through right now. I really wanted to make it.
Uh, no, it doesn’t speak to anything America has ever done or gone through, Mark. It’s fiction, unlike your criminal past.
Mark Wahlberg needs to stop delivering lectures to moviegoers about this great country that unfortunately gave so much to someone so undeserving–and unrepentant criminal thug.
Pot. Kettle. Black. Mark Wahlberg. “Shooter.” This is one Calvin Klein model you don’t want to emulate.
Skip this awful movie.
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