Shooter

Sniper movie Shooter has a relatively minor (but pivotal to the plot) character with a disability, Michael Sandor. Michael is first seen rolling up to Colonel Isaac Johnson and some official-looking military guys, recommending Gunnery Sergeant Bob Lee Swagger (USMC, retired) for a job, and accompanying them silently as they visit Swagger to make the offer. They want Swagger to use his specialized knowledge as a sniper to help them foil an assassination attempt on the President, figuring out where some other sniper will likely take his shot. By the time Swagger realizes his job is actually to be the patsy, the visiting Archbishop of Ethiopia has been assassinated by a rifle triggered by remote control, and he’s the target of a manhunt.

Swagger seeks refuge with Sarah, the girlfriend of a buddy who died in action, and together they make contact with Memphis, the FBI agent blamed for dropping the ball after the assassination. When Sarah is kidnapped by Johnson, Swagger and Memphis seek out a grizzled old sniper for wisdom. The guru tells them that only one other sniper in the world could make the mile-plus shot, a sadistic Russian who had no compunctions against shooting people who came to aid the wounded. He was believed dead after a building collapsed around him, but surprise surprise, he’s the enigmatic Russian in a wheelchair.

Why Colonel Johnson and Sandor needed to involve Swagger in the assassination plot is not clear; Sandor seems to have use enough of his arms to propel himself and use of his fingers to take notes. He’s perfectly capable of modifying weapons to suit his needs (and indeed, certainly pulls a trigger later). Many people with more severe disabilities than Sandor still enjoy hunting with rifles mounted to their wheelchairs, so why did he need to outsource the planning?

Colonel Johnson tells Sandor he’s to be used as bait and essentially tied to a tree, and he’s set up in a house with minimal guards. Swagger and Memphis attack, and get an explanation from Sandor; that he was complicit in the massacre of hundreds of African villagers in order to set up an oil pipeline, and the Archbishop had been planning to expose the genocide during his speech. The implication is that Sandor’s disability has opened his eyes to the enormous guilt he bears for causing such death and destruction. Sandor shoots himself in the head, and Swagger and Memphis do nothing to interfere. His taped confession is brought before a congressional committee, but destroyed by Swagger on the grounds that they were the people who ordered the genocide in the first place.

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