It’s tricky when films attempt to air political grievances, especially in a film that presents itself as a thriller, in the mode of The Fugitive, and not a political drama, like All the President’s Men. Making a political statement is even more complicated.

Still, Shooter does manage to walk the line by accusing a rogue section of the American government as corrupt, while presenting Mark Wahlberg as Bob Lee Swagger, an extreme patriot with true blue American credentials. The real enemy, the movie charges is money. Greed is not good.

Director Antoine Fuqua and writer Jonathan Lemkin (adapting a novel by Stephen Hunter) do a fairly credible job of pushing forth their agenda while crafting an entertaining film. Wahlberg, convincing as a marksman scarred by battle, is framed for an attempted assassination of the president. Up against a determined U.S. Senator (Ned Beatty), Wahlberg fights to save himself and uncover the conspiracy.

Mostly energetic and exciting, Shooter bites off a bit more than it can chew with the political parallels it attempts. Yet those parallels are also what make the picture rise above your average Hollywood boilerplate.

Grade: B-

Shooter is currently available.