Sniper: Assassin’s End (aKa Sniper 8) is a 2020 direct to video action film directed by Kaare Andrews (Altitude, Cabin Fever 3: Patient Zero, The ABCs of Death, & Van Helsing). This is the 8th installment from the Sniper franchise & a direct sequel to 2017’s Sniper: Ultimate Kill. It was written & produced by Oliver Thompson (Welcome to Happiness & Stranger Things: Spotlight). It was produced by Vicki Sotheran (The Sandlot 2/3, Hollow Man II, 30 Days of Night: Dark Days, S.W.A.T.: Under Siege, Jingle All the Way 2, The Hole, & Riding the Bullet). Special Ops Sniper Brandon Beckett (played by: Chad Michael Collins from the Sniper franchise, Creepshow, Lake Placid 2, & Extinct) is set up as the primary suspect for the murder of a foreign dignitary on the eve of signing a high-profile trade agreement with the United States.
Narrowly escaping death, Beckett realizes that there may be a dark operative working within the government & partners with the only person whom he can trust, his father legendary Sniper Sgt. Thomas Beckett (played by: Tom Berenger from the Sniper franchise, The Big Chill, Major League 1/2, & Platoon). Agent Zero (played by: Ryan Robbins from Arrow, Riverdale, Sanctuary, & Kingdom Hospital) & Agent Franklin (played by: Lochlyn Munro from Unforgiven, Needful Things, Freddy vs. Jason, & Scary Movie) are both trying to prove different theories & have different agendas when it comes to the case. Both Becketts are on the run from the CIA, Russian Mercenaries, & a Yakuza-trained assassin known as Lady Death (played by: Sayaka Akimoto from Ultraman Saga, The Suicide Song, & Sumika Sumire) with sniper skills that rival both legendary sharp shooters.
I’ve seen & own most of the Sniper films. Yes, only the original had a bigger release & budget. The other 7 have been lower budget direct to video & they kinda get cheaper as the sequels start getting pumped out. I will say that they spend their money in the right spots when it comes to these straight to video movies & always put out a quality product when it comes to this franchise. Assassin’s End is actually one of the better efforts from the Sniper universe & that’s pretty impressive considering it’s the 8th one from the series. Both Chad Michael Collins & Tom Berenger reprise their roles from the other ones in this. I know some people are probably wondering how much screen time the original sniper himself Tom Berenger has in this sequel. It’s definitely more than a cameo. He shows up in the 2nd half & he has a major part during all the chaos there. At this point, both of them could do these roles in their sleep. They know exactly what is needed for this type of film. The supporting cast is better than expected here which includes veteran Lochlyn Munro, Ryan Robbins, Sayaka Akimoto, Emily Tennant (Kingdom Hospital), & Michael Jonsson (Arrow). I really enjoyed the Agent Zero character in this. It had all kinds of action & violence which is expected from the Sniper films so it definitely delivered there. It went way past my expectations & it’s much better than what you would think it would be. It’s one of the higher quality direct to video action flicks that I’ve seen or reviewed in awhile, RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Sony Pictures! This 1080p (2.40:1) transfer actually looks great especially for it’s lower budget. If this was released in the 80’s or early 90’s it probably have would have been a bigger theatrical feature because features like this were really popular back then. The production design & locations make it look bigger than what it is. It has two different audio options which includes English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 & Russian: Dolby Digital 5.1 on the release. The audio here is solid & it definitely kicks in when the action hits. There’s a lot in Assassin’s End so it has a nice boost to it. The dialogue is crystal clear & the music is elevated. It’s loaded with a variety of subtitles which includes English, English SDH, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Mandarin (Simplified), Mandarin (Traditional), Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Swedish, & Thai. Unfortunately, there’s no extras besides “Trailers”. It comes with a digital code. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!