As the eighth film in the Sniper franchise is released on home video, it is becoming apparent that we will likely see this series stay in the family for as long as they can come up with clever titles and Tom Berenger is available for a brief appearance. And even when the original star is no longer available or willing, the series can continue with the next generation of Thomas Beckett in his son, Brandon (Chad Michael Collins). The cast is consistent from film to film, as is the unimaginative plotting.
The Becketts have often been pulled into conspiracies involving corruption and the inevitable sniper assassinations that follow. This time is no different, though neither Beckett is even aware of the incident they are to be pulled into. The film begins with skilled Yakuza-trained assassin Yuki Mifune (Sayaka Akimoto) taking a near-impossible sniper shot to kill a foreign dignitary while at a press conference for a high-profile trade agreement with the United States. Because nobody believes anyone else could make the shot, along with some convenient DNA left at the scene, Brandon is immediately a suspect. He is also a loose end, and when a second assassination of him fails, Brandon realizes that he must clear his own name.
Predictably, when Brandon has nowhere else to turn and nobody he can trust, he turns to his reclusive father. Thomas has set up a bunker in the woods that rivals something Rambo might set up, making it a perfect place for a showdown against the enemy sniper from the East. Meanwhile, Agent Zeke “Zero” Rosenberg is the only one that doesn’t believe the theory that the Becketts have suddenly become traitors, and he works to investigate the truth at the same time that the sniper family works to clear their name.
The action sequences in Sniper: Assassin’s End are as competent as they have ever been. They are well shot, polished, and feature believably high-intensity fight choreography whenever the sniper rifles are put down for hand-to-hand. The sniper shots are also exciting when paired with unique and innovative POV shots. Unfortunately, all of this decent action is utilized in the most derivative and predictable of screenplays. No twist is unexpected, and the dialogue can often be cringeworthy, but it doesn’t make for a terrible view if you have seen very few films and are able to turn your brain off.
The Blu-ray release comes with a digital copy. There are no extras of worth on the disc itself.
Entertainment Value: 5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 4/10
Historical Significance: 2/10
Special Features: 1/10