The Shooter (1997) Michael Dudikoff, Randy Travis, Valerie Wildman, Andrew Stevens, William Smith, Eric Lawson, Robert Donavan Movie Review

The Shooter (1997)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Michael Dudikoff and Valerie Wildman in The Shooter (1997)

Dudikoff's Getting Randy in the Wild West

Legendary civil war hero, Michael Atherton (Michael Dudikoff) was just planning on passing through, trouble is that earlier on in the day he had rescued Wendy (Valerie Wildman), a prostitute, from a whipping and in doing so killed the son of Jerry Krants (William Smith) who runs the town and if it wasn't for gambler Kyle Tapert (Randy Travis) coming to his rescue his luck might have run out. But not only does it turn out that Tapert is working for Krants whilst also unwittingly hired by the mayor to be lawman in town but Michael finds himself outnumbered, tied to a fence, beaten, branded and left for the dead. Fortunately Wendy comes looking for him and cuts him down before it is too late and takes him to her home to tend to him.

A legendary gun man who has been missing for a few years, a prostitute with a heart of gold, an evil landowner who controls the town; I think that is another cliches for now although I could go on as I review "The Shooter", a western which I would say is around 95% routine and 5% surprise. That doesn't make it automatically terrible, in fact for what it is "The Shooter" is a watch-able if forgettable western with some okay action, some entertaining developments and some okay characters.

But it is that other 5% which makes "The Shooter" stand out from the crowd with some scenes being more brutal than you might expect such as one involving a prostitute being belted to death, and yes it is a scene which includes nudity. But the other is Michael Dudikoff as to my memory I can't remember watching another western featuring Dudikoff but he does a reasonable job of playing the hero in an easy on the eye manner. In fact whilst you have William Smith growling his way through many a scene and Randy Travis playing it as sneaky it is Dudikoff making Atherton a nice guy and some one easy to champion which makes the movie.

What this all boils down to is that "The Shooter" is not a bad western and in fact is surprisingly enjoyable. But beyond a few scenes which are a little more brutal than the norm there is nothing to make "The Shooter" stand out from the crowd or be even close to being memorable.