DVD Review – Shooter (Season 1)

If there ever was a property that failed at the box office but deserved to be resurrected in a different form it would be the Bob Lee Swagger novel series. After a failed film adaptation, which seemed to be more focused on politics of the day than an interesting story, a new face for Swagger (Ryan Philippe replacing Mark Wahlberg) and a long form story-telling style brought out the richness of Swagger and the novel series.

Based off the first novel, “Point Blank,” the first season of Shooter places Swagger right in the middle of a conspiracy of international proportions. Much like the film, which covers the same territory, we get to see a longer and more engaging version of the story as Swagger has to clear his name and pull off the cover of darkness on a conspiracy that wants him to take the fall for a high profile political assassination.

What the show does, and what the film couldn’t, is give us a reason to care about Swagger in more than the “he’s the good guy” that bad action films thrive on and good ones do better than. Swagger is a good, decent man with a family, et al, that drive him. It doesn’t hurt that Ryan Philippe is showing the ability to thrive when given the ability to be in a character for a long period of time.

Swagger in the show is a complicated man and Philippe is allowed to slowly bring it out; he’s a bad, violent man when needed but it’s interesting to see the layers of complexity the actor is able to bring out. It’s interesting to see what he’s able to do with the character considering Philippe isn’t known for playing complex men of action. It’s the right role at the right time for him; it feels like this is the start of potentially some great work coming from him.

The show itself is a strong action thriller that works because it is immaculately plotted out. It is designed as near eight-hour action thriller, cut up for television, as each episode is a piece of a puzzle. It makes for a great binge watch because each episode flows from the last.

Shooter is a quality action show that never approaches brilliance but always hovers around “really damn good.”

An EPK piece is the only extra included.

Universal presents Shooter (Season 1). Created by John Hlavin based off the novel “Point of Impact” by Stephen Hunter. Starring Ryan Philippe, Omar Epps, Harry Hamlin, Eddie McClintock, Ryan Sizemore. Run Time:450 minutes. Rating. Released on: 6.13.17

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