The Sniper franchise is one of the properties that never seems to die, with new films continually released whether audiences want them or not. There have been many ways to keep the film series alive, with or without the original protagonist Thomas Beckett (Tom Berenger). Even with Berenger often reprising his role, the series has shifted to focus on his son Gunnery Sergeant Brandon Beckett (Chad Michael Collins) in recent installments. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter all that much. Even with characters connecting the films, the storylines have rarely required audiences to be familiar with the events of past films.
Sniper: Rogue Mission is no exception, with a new storyline that only brings in Beckett in as support to Homeland Security Agent Zero (Ryan Robbins) when he uncovers a human sex trafficking ring with ties to a crooked federal agent. Knowing they are onto him, the crooked agent revokes Zero and Beckett’s powers, leaving the to join forces with the assassin Lady Death (Sayaka Akimoto) to protect a key witness (Jocelyn Hudon). Having the characters go rogue is a novel idea to do something new with the Sniper franchise, but it is the stylistic approach which is most effective.
Filmmaker Oliver Thompson wore many hats in the production of Sniper: Rogue Mission. Along with directing the film and writing the screenplay, Thompson also composed the music for the score. Two out of the three of these were done quite well, but it is just unfortunate that the third was such a failure. The highlight of the film is the music, which is high octane while leaning into the B-film elements of the movie. This paired with kinetic camera work and editing give the film a Tarantino rip-off vibe, but that only makes the shortcomings of the screenplay that much more apparent.
It isn’t that the premise is bad, but nearly all of the dialogue in Sniper: Rogue Mission feels sub-par. The jokes don’t land and attempts at clever banter between criminals waiting to carry out violence fall short. It is only when the action begins that the film is elevated, and mostly only because of the music and the fights are shot. The choreography itself is often less than believable. The saving grace of the film is the fact that it is less self-serious than previous installments. Audiences willing to lean into the campiness may find themselves pleasantly entertained, so long as expectations are kept low.
The Blu-ray release does boast a high-definition presentation of some of the stylishly shot action sequences, as well as the DTS-HD audio, but that’s about it. The package does also include a digital copy of the film, but that is about it in terms of special features. There are no extras on the disc worth mentioning.
Entertainment Value: 6.5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 5/10
Historical Significance: 1/10
Special Features: 2/10