Monday, January 23, 2017
SNIPER: SPECIAL OPS (2016) Is Just The Kind Of Action Movie for People Who Hate Themselves
Sniper: Special Ops is the the action roller-coaster that teams up Van Damme and Seagal for the first and only time! But it's not Jean Claude Van Damme, it's actually Rob Van Dam from the WWE. And it's not the Seagal who snaps necks and throws guys through walls, it's actually the Seagal who sits in chairs and mumbles his lines. And the roller-coaster is actually one of those baby coasters for kids too short to ride real roller-coasters. Sniper: Special Ops isn't so much a bad movie as it's an insult to action movie fans.
RVD and Seagal play soldiers in Afghanistan who have been sent in to retrieve a high value hostage from vaguely Taliban-like bad guys. Seagal is sitting in a perch with his spotter while RVD is on the ground awkwardly handling his M4 rifle. Naturally, all hell breaks loose and the guys on the ground have to retreat with the hostage, leaving Seagal and his now-injured spotter behind enemy lines. Now, saddled with an obnoxious reporter, RVD goes back to retrieve his teammates.
Even for a modern-era Seagal vehicle, this film is impressively lazy. The movie looks like it was shot as cheaply and hastily as humanly possible. Seagal spends almost the entire film sitting in a single room doing nothing. His big moment comes when he has to go out to get water for his dying spotter; a great setup for an action sequence that never happens. Seagal just comes back with water like he stopped by a 7-eleven. RVD is equally wasted in the role of a soldier who never even throws a punch, he just awkwardly shoots a gun.
Never before has there been a better argument for Seagal to retire. We live in an age of John Hyams and Isaac Florentine; Hell, there are even a few decent WWE actioners on the market. Films like Sniper: Special Ops have no reason to exist other than to trick unsuspecting fans into wasting their money. It's a lazy, cynical cash grab that is too boring to even riff on. Action fans deserve better than to be disrespected like this.