Bob Lee Swagger, what did they do to you? Swagger is the hero of Stephen Hunter’s excellent action novel Point of Impact, which has been adapted into the movie Shooter, starring Mark Wahlberg. In the book Swagger is a Southern boy from Arkansas – and this isn’t just a detail. It’s integral to who Swagger is, and to not just his story, which continues in a number of books, but his father’s, which is told in a series of books that includes the truly fantastic Dirty White Boys, which is dying to be made into a film. But in the trailer for Shooter, which you can see here, Swagger is most definitely no longer a good old boy. Which makes his name, Robert Lee, a little weird. Who from Boston names their kid after a Confederate general, anyway?
In Shooter Swagger is one of the best snipers in the country. He’s retired from active service but is called out from his mountain cabin to aid national security – a sniper is going to try and kill the president, and Swagger’s expertise is needed to figure out where he’ll strike. But it turns out Swagger is being set up, and when the president is killed he’s framed as the patsy. Action ensues!
Point of Impact has Swagger as a Vietnam vet – I can understand updating the time period. I just can’t understand changing Swagger’s background. The trailer never really grabbed me, although I do like that it looks like it has a minimum of silly vehicular and explosive mayhem. Maybe I can start a petition to have Paramount dub Wahlberg’s voice with a Southern accent.