I love movies. I love writing about them. Hope you like reading what I write.
American Sniper follows the true story of Chris Kyle, played by Bradley Cooper, whose career as a sniper in Iraq allowed him to clock more confirmed sniper kills than any other American soldier.
This Clint Eastwood directed film is another delve into the effects war has on the soldiers who fight in them. And a pretty decent one to boot, however it does have some problems.
It’s unfortunate when a movie’s “been done”. It shouldn’t really undermine the quality of the product, but you feel you’ve got to compare it to something else. Full Metal Jacket (1987), due to its long production period, suffered from this very problem. Stanley Kubrick’s perfectionism set the film back so long that upon its release, many were tired of the Vietnam War in movies. Years later, though Full Metal Jacket has gained the praise it deserves and American Sniper has a Best Picture Oscar nod*, history has sadly repeated itself.
The Hurt Locker (2008) covered the same ground that this movie does. There’s a slight twist in the end, but it’s broadly the same.
Just because that’s the case doesn’t mean American Sniper‘s worth is diminished. I would still highly recommend it. Also, it is true that there are no “original” ideas.
One positive to this film is that it contains a superb Bradley Cooper performance. In fact, it’s his best to date. Another was Eastwood’s directing. While Hereafter and Trouble with the Curve were more considerable missteps in his post Gran Torino career, he has proved to still be the king of a cool movie.
American Sniper is moving and does a pretty good job in showing the effects of post-traumatic-stress disorder. However, I believe it could have been explored a little more. And though the ugliness of war is shown, the controversy of this particular struggle was rarely seen.
I would recommend it, but remember that war is a tad greyer than this film makes out to be.
* Gone Girl and A Most Wanted Man were snubbed this year. They were both better than this film.
Recommended Scenario: Near the end of a week-long, depressing, chronological marathon of the great and good war movies.
If what I have written tells you that you would like this film, you can book tickets to see it at your local Cineworld here.