“I just want to get the bad guys, but if I can’t see them I can’t shoot them.”
– Chris Kyle
SYNOPSIS: Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle’s pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and turns him into a legend. Back home to his wife and kids after four tours of duty, however, Chris finds that it is the war he can’t leave behind. – via IMDB
I am so glad to finally have seen this. I love a good war film, I do, and I was unaware when I started watching this that it was a Clint Eastwood movie, though it certainly had that look and feel. Anyway, I was entertained and drawn in from the off, and American Sniper offers a great character study of Chris Kyle, though the supporting characters do get left behind and are not fleshed out nearly as nicely as the lead. At any rate, Bradley Cooper did an awesome job realising Chris Kyle, and he was very well cast. He was charming, entertaining, a little too dedicated to country, and loyal. Watching the tours he went through were rough, and it was interesting to see how everyone seemed to be getting affected except him – until you put him back in a normal situation. He just couldn’t cope properly. His character development was something else, seeing him being the cowboy, with a crazy girlfriend and a super simplified life, and how he decided he needed something more, and how that ultimately changed so much about him. There was some humour in the film, but not overkill, and it was used at the appropriate times. I was a particular fan of the distinction Kyle made between rednecks and Texans. I am still chortling over it. Sienna Miller was also very good, though she was not used as much as she could have been, and eventually it was almost as though she was only there to harp on the fact that he had not completely returned from the war. I liked how there was no music in the beginning before Kyle started talking, and though it was disconcerting, the way there was no music throughout the end credits either was actually very fitting for the movie. The plot progression was not as smooth as it could have been as some places certainly did feel rushed, but it isn’t done in a way that makes the movie feel like a waste. There was not one minute that progressed that didn’t have me completely engrossed, so I am very happy to say that it is well worth the wait to see, especially if you are a fan of war movies. American Sniper is shot carefully and does not try anything revolutionary, but that is not an issue. By the books and safe, it tells the story of Kyle. The focus is on Kyle, and the movie tells his story and it is done carefully, deliberately, and with respect. It isn’t my favourite war film of all time, and it definitely isn’t the best of the genre, but it is a solid entry and a very good watch.