Plot: Brandon Beckett (Chad Michael Collins) is the son of sniper legend Thomas Beckett, but he has made a name for himself as a soldier. He prefers open combat, rather than the sniper approach of his dad, but his work as a peacekeeper has been impressive, even if his father’s shadow looms over his accomplishments. He is tasked to rescue a hostage in the Congo, a volatile and dangerous region to say the least. Once his squad begins to close in on their target, the soldiers are ambushed and his team is slaughtered, though Brandon is able to survive. Richard Miller (Billy Zane) assists Brandon and tells him the ambush was part of a plan to draw out his father, likely the actions of a bitter rival sniper out for revenge. But can Brandon navigate this kind of dangerous situation like his father would, or does he lack the killer instinct?
Entertainment Value: This is the first Sniper volume that doesn’t include Tom Berenger, but the narrative is consistent and Chad Michael Collins arrives as the son of Berenger’s character, Thomas Beckett. So at least some effort was made to connect the movies, between the narrative ties and the return of Billy Zane, who hasn’t been in a Sniper movie since the original installment. After Sniper 3 went all out generic action movie, this sequel pulls back to a more military minded scenario and while it isn’t all sniper duels, it is a step in the right direction. The narrative is at least interesting at times and thanks to Zane’s return, retains some Sniper vibes, though Berenger’s absence is a mark against this one. Zane is fun here, with a ridiculous mustache and dialed up effort, while Collins is capable and resembles Berenger, which helps. The pace is solid and the movie never bores, but I wish it would have more of the sniper duels seen in the original, as those are always a highlight in these movies. The partial return to form at least elevates this above the third movie, while the narrative introducing Beckett’s son is an interesting thread for the franchise to build on. Still a middle of the road action movie, but it at least steers things toward the right places again.
No nakedness. There’s a romantic interlude, but it is brief and no naughty moments are captured on screen. This one has a few nice, splashy kills involved, with nice bursts of crimson offered. Most of the action yields bloodless results, but it was nice to have a few kill shots pack a visceral punch. As for action scenes, the movie has a number of more general action set pieces, as well as some nice, tense sniper oriented segments. I do wish there more focus on the sniper duels and more atmosphere based tension, but at least this is a step back toward the original’s tone. The dialogue is basic, but has some tough guy and soldier lingo, while Zane’s amped up performances injects some wildness in some of his lines. Overall though, not memorable in this area. Aside from Zane and his ludicrous mustache, no craziness this time around. But his mustache is so hilarious, it earns a point for itself.
Overall Insanity: 1/10