(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
American Sniper is a good and patriotic movie with good direction by Clint Eastwood with creating thrilling war scenes, what really is gripping is seeing a veteran soldier dealing with war and family and making a good balance with the two and how tough it really is to do that. Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars.
Bradley Cooper has definitely rised to fame rather quickly these past 3 years. It almost seems like yesterday where he was in one of my favorite comedies in The Hangover and seeing how you can mix acting and comedy in a tasteful way. Probably my other favorite movie which he starred in was Limitless where he took advantage of a great story and made it awesome. Strongly recommend it if you haven’t seen it. Now he is getting Oscar nods starting with the fun movie Silver Lining Playbook, then American Hustle, and now American Sniper. Sky is the limit for this guy, and his movies are definitely fun to watch. I will start with what I like, to the so so, to what I didn’t like.
What I like, let me start with the way director Clint Eastwood directed this movie. Eastwood may be old, but he does know how to make interesting and good movies. I liked how he focus this war movie to the snipers during the War in Iraq. How intense it is to only focus and pull the trigger. I know shooting is not easy, and everything your mind goes through during one shot, Eastwood captures it very well. He also showed how terrible these Iraqi terrorists are to a point where it is right to call these guys savages. Even to their own people they were cruel and monstrous. I like the battle scenes he creates where you are actually seeing a war battle before your eyes, and it comes in spurts where it gets you on your toes in not knowing what it’s going to happen. Once it is over you get a sense of relief. The story of this movie to me is more simple than a regular war movie. It actually shows a sniper soldier named Chris Kyle, played by Bradley Cooper, who wanted to join the army after witnessing some terrorist attack in the US Embassy in Kenya. He originally wanted to be a cowboy, but now he was all patriotic and wants to fight for his country. So he goes on to become a Navy Seal as a sniper. During his training he meets a women named Taya, played by Siena Miller, who eventually becomes his wife. Soon he was deployed to Iraq and meets with his fellow soldiers who become a team on a mission to find and take down Abu Musab al-Zarqawi who is a servant of Osama Bin Laden and has killed many American soldiers. Kyle has made it his main mission to find him and take him down which proves it is not easy. It took him four tours to get him, and I loved how to finally get him he had to take a very hard shot from far away to finally nail him. I like how the story made Kyle very vulnerable especially when his first two kills were a child and a mother carrying a grenade which really affects his mind. I like that one scene where he kills a guy, and then a kid picks up his RPG like he was about to shoot it, and Kyle was begging for him to drop it before he had to kill him, which eventually the kid did. The other side of the story is seeing him dealing with his family. It was obvious he is dealing with post traumatic stress which was really affecting his relationship with his wife. His obsession in finishing the mission lead to his four tours which really was hard for him to spend quality time with his family and almost having his wife leave him. It shows that it is hard to balance of being a soldier and a family man. When he is regarded as a war hero, his wife just sees him as a man with trouble. So ehe. He finally kills al-Zarqawi, he immediately calls his wife and tells her he is finally coming home. What I really like is that when he is home his post traumatic stress was really affecting him, and he seemed help. His doctor recommended that he helps with severely injured veterans in talking and hanging around with them as they deal with the outcomes of the war. This really helps Kyle deal with his condition in really becoming a good father and husband and move on with his life. The twist is that just when you thought it was going to be a happy ending, you read that he died by being shot and killed by another veteran severely dealing with post traumatic stress. The sad shock value was crazy, and how silent the theatre was when it ended.
The so so, many people lauded for Bradley Coopers acting as Chris Kyle. He was good, but to me it was nothing spectacular or groundbreaking. Cooper did bulk up some weight for his role, but to me it made him look fat and husky which really a soldier shouldn’t look like. In the scenes when he was dealing with his post traumatic stress, it wasn’t because of Cooper, I believe it was more of the directing of Eastwood that made it gripping. What really grinder my gears is he is nominated for a Best Actor award and I believe (yes I’m pissed with this snub from the Oscars) David Oyelowo playing Martin Luther King in Selma deserves it over him.
What I didn’t like, there were some scenes especially at the end which really dragged and made the movie longer than it should. Also you can tell this movie was really made for conservative people (not surprising by Eastwood). One scene did bother me was the final battle scene when a sandstorm came and really blinded the scene where I had no idea what is going on. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocal made a better sand storm scenes than this movie, I like to see what’s going on instead of having to guess. One last thing is the movie shows a relationship between Kyle and his brother Jeff Kyle, played by Kier O’Donnell. It shows how deep their relationship was and how his brother enlisted to the marines and was deployed. Then they shared a moment where his brother shows that he hated being a soldier. Then that was it, you don’t know what happens to him and how they continue their relationship. It was a big loose hole they didn’t tie up.
Overall, it is a good and patriotic movie. Was it a great movie as Saving Private Ryan? No, it is not even in The Hurt Locker status. However the subplots of this story really makes it a unique watch in seeing a soldier dealing with his personal life. The movie is nominated for some Oscar awards, but I honestly don’t think it will win any. Still a good watch nonetheless!!! Final Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars.
(Sidenote: Into the Storm- This movie had some great tornado action since the movie Twister, but other than that, it was a movie full of cliches, untreatable characters, and unintelligent scenes. They filmed it in as a found footage format about storm chasers, which that kind of filming style is getting kind of old. One thing is for sure, I’m not moving to Oklahoma and deal with tornadoes. Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Stars.