The Shooter: Netflix ~ A Non-Spoiler Review

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Photo Montage of scenes from The Shooter (2013). The central image is the theatrical poster for the film.


THE SHOOTER aka Skytten (2013) is a Danish crime drama/thriller film on Netflix U.K. 1 hr 30 min. 12 Cert U.K. In Danish with subtitles.


“A reporter confronts the Danish foreign minister on TV about broken promises on ecological policies with offshore oil drilling NE of Greenland. A geophysicist/sharpshooter is angered and loose in Copenhagen.” IMDb


Trine Dyrholm as Mia Moesgaard
Kim Bodnia as Rasmus Holm Jensen
Nikolaj Lie Kaas as Thomas Brody
Kristian Halken Steffen Husfeldt
Lars Ranthe as Jesper Bang
Henning Avalon Jakobsen as Crime Reporter
Marie-Louise Coninck as Mrs Kamper
Carsten Bjørnland as Adam Larsen
Marina Bouras as Marianne
Thue Ersted Rasmussen as Journalism Student
Søren Malling as Flemming Kure

Theatrical poster for the film The Shooter


Director: Annette K. Olsen
Writers: Åke Sandgren, Lars Kristian Andersen & Michael W. Horsten
Composer: Kaare Bjerkø
Cinematographer: Rasmus Bjerkø
Visual Effects: Hummer Højmark, Kitter & Mark Nielsen


This was a remake of The Marksman (1977) which was about keeping Denmark a nuclear-free zone.

The rifle used is named as a modified Sabetti. Sabetti is an Italian company that specialises in highly accurate hunting and sport shooting rifles.

Danish language poster for The Shooter


Before watching The Shooter I had no idea that it was a remake of an earlier film that I had also never seen. From the Netflix listing, I knew that this has a very strong cast which made it immediately appealing. So what did I make of this movie which has a pretty snappy run time of 90 minutes?

The basic idea of the main story is pretty solid and centering it around environmental concerns certainly gives it relevance (it was at this point it registered with me how very little things have changed since 2013).

Trine Dyrholm as Mia in a scene from The Shooter

At the start, we find out about Mia, her life and her prospective adoption of a child from another country. This secondary plot serves as a device but, honestly, has so little emotional stock and is undermined within the story itself, that it fails to hit home sufficiently. In fact, I was left with the feeling that I was not even sure why Mia was bothering. Oh and she’s a journalist who is brave and keen(ish) to do her job well.

That this “lone wolf” shooter can be “radicalised” solely by one interview did, however, seem far-fetched and this is because we get so little on Rasmus beforehand. And it is this aspect of the film which does not improve sufficiently. Yes, we see that he is a polite, introverted loner but despite Kim Bodnia’s solid, underplayed performance Rasmus comes over as a cypher. The best scenes he has are opposite Trine Dyrholm as Mia, but even then there is something missing. We never see his motivations made clear. Every time we are offered a potential insight it vanishes before our eyes.

Kim Bodnia (left as Rasmus Holm Jensen) with Trine Dyrholm (right as Mia) in a scene from The Shooter

Perhaps it is me, but I would be seriously concerned if Danish Security Services are as incompetent as this film suggests. Here I should declare that I usually have no problem suspending disbelief but honestly… there were far too many instances here that had me rolling my eyes. And much as I enjoy a dynamic female lead this did not work for me.

Towards the end of the film and the denouement the pacing heats up and the actual final action scenes work well despite the unbelievability of some aspects. There are excellent and exciting moments which l really enjoyed.

The acting is really solid throughout this movie. I particularly enjoyed Lars Ranthe’s pushy, mouthy, just a teeny bit self-opinionated Jesper. The cinematography is good for the most part but, for me, the pacing, lack of key character development and dissipated dramatic tension were major issues. I did think at one point that music and sound design could have been used more to increase tension. Thus The Shooter felt less than the sum of its parts and lacked any real emotional impact.

The Shooter works well in places and is worth the watch for the individual performances of some excellent actors.


2 nominations

Danish Film Awards (Robert) (2014), Best Visual Effects ~ Martin Madsen & Hummer Højmark; Audience Award, Best Drama ~ Åke Sandgren & Annette K. Olsen


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