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DVD Review: SNIPER 3

by David Blackwell

Details: 90 minutes, 1.85 anamorphic widescreen, English 5.1 (Dolby Digital) and French, multiple subtitle tracks, previews


PLOT: Master Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Beckett is sent to Vietnam to kill a best friend he thought was killed years ago in the Vietnam War.

ANALYSIS: The big business of DVD has spawned direct to DVD sequels that can be made cheaply in another country. SNIPER 2 came out almost ten years after the first one and it was filmed in Budapest. Now SNIPER 3 was filmed in Chiang Mai, Thailand (doubling for Vietnam). Thailand now seems to be the popular new location for low cost sequels including the upcoming movie in the VAMPIRES series.

Tom Berenger sells the character of Master Gunnery Sergeant Beckett. He is right on target with Beckett. Also there is a character arc for Beckett that follows through from SNIPER 2. 

SNIPER 3 is a watchable sequel due to how well developed Beckett is and Berenger's great performance of a Marine tortured by the demons of his past (while facing a new terrible condition resulting from part of his finger being cut off in SNIPER 2). Also nothing is as it seems in this movie. The NSA wants to close up loose ends and have Beckett take out an assassin who happens to be Beckett's soldier buddy, Paul Finnegan (that supposed to have died in Vietnam and made Beckett promise to read a letter at his son's wedding if he didn't make it (which Beckett does read the letter years later at the beginning of the movie)). Beckett thinks the one shot will make this an easy hit, but he gets sucked into a mess wanting to learn the truth of why the NSA wants Paul dead.

SNIPER 3 is an enjoyable sequel that has good direction and a script that comes together due to the character of Beckett being pulled off by Tom Berenger. This sequel features excellent cinematography highlighted by the use of colors and blacks. Will there be a SNIPER 4 or will Beckett retire from the Marines for good?

VIDEO/AUDIO: SNIPER 3 is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The colors and flesh tones are nice and vibrant. I'm very impressed with how bright the greens are in the jungle. However, the movie is very grainy during scenes with little lighting. Blacks do sometimes seem a little muddled during nighttime scenes and scenes with lots of darkness in it.

You can hear the movie in English 5.1 Dolby Digital or French with the option of English, French, Chinese, Korean or Thai subtitles. Dialogue can be heard clearly except the last scene where the music makes it a little hard to hear what is being said.

SPECIAL FEATURES: The only extras on this DVD are previews for SNIPER 3, BOA VS. PYTHON (also as a forced trailer before you get to the main menu). CARDINAU, and STARSHIP TROOPERS 2.

FINAL ANALYSIS: SNIPER 3 is a decent direct-to-video DVD sequel that will please fans of the previous two SNIPER movies and Tom Berenger. It is good alternative to rent if the bigger DVD titles are out for rental.

this review is (c)9-19-2004 David Blackwell and this review cannot be reprinted without permission.

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