Plot: The life of U.S Navy Seal sniper Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) the most lethal sniper in U.S military history. We follow Kyle through his four tours in Iraq, to his struggles on the home front and relationship with his devoted wife (Sienna Miller).
Review: It would be safe to begin by saying that American Sniper is a Clint Eastwood film thru and thru. It’s a gripping, gritty story based on Navy Seals sniper Chris Kyle’s life being the deadliest sniper in American history.
Bradley Cooper plays are main hero, Kyle, who we are told is an everyman from Texas who never backs down from a fight. Cooper’s portrayal of Kyle is fantastic, bringing that patriotism that you would expect from someone who is giving their life for their country. The best parts of the movie are the scenes that take place on American soil. Here we get to see Kyle dealing with the horrors of killing so many people at war and the disconnection he feels not being on tour with his Navy Seals buddies. It’s here that Cooper gets to show his acting chops, making the audience feel that uncomfortableness that you would assume one would have after being at war for so long. A stand out moment happens with Kyle, his son and a man who Kyle saved during his tour. You can just see how uneasy he is to be talking to the man and its scenes like this that movie does not have enough of.
Same goes for the interactions between Kyle and his wife, Taya, who is played by Sienna Miller. Miller is great here, showing how hard it is to be the wife of a Navy Seal. As the movie moves forward we get to see thru her eyes how much she doesn’t know her husband after he comes back. Their back and forth is great, so it is a shame that the film does not show enough of this.
What we get most out of this movie is war. Instead of a gripping take on how war can affect someone’s mind psychologically we get a “fuck yeah, America” movie that tends to gloss over the parts that really matter, namely how he was affected by it.
The war scenes are well done, with Kyle being a sniper, he gets a personal look at every person he kills. Most of the kills are quick shots, with only a few actually have that hard to watch moment. The trailer for the film showcased him on the roof wondering if he should kill a little boy and his mom. That scene is amazing and stand out among the whole movie but is over way too quickly. Also what should be mentioned is the sniper vs sniper scene, which was great but unfortunately not real at all. That never actually happened to Kyle in real life was added to bring some rivalry into the mix, which is sad considering there was so much else they could have used.
Eastwood delivers as a director here but his editing seems to be nonexistent. The film jumps from one scene to another with no transitions whatsoever, leaving the viewer with a jarring view of what is happening. One minute he is at home meeting a girl, then he’s married, then he’s at war, then he’s home. Then at war. Just like that. There is no real explanation between scenes and it all seems to flow into a bit of a mess.
With that being said, the movie is still great and better than most of what is offered out there. It is definitely more action blockbuster than what was expected from the previews and in the end it left you wanting just a bit more. It may not be Eastwood’s best, but it is definitely one to watch. 7/10.