“The thing that haunts me is all the people I couldn’t save”
The trailers were intense and like wildfire, the amazing story of America’s most deadly sniper has spread through the book’s popularity. Now the real question is, could Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper deliver?
American Sniper follows the life and service of Chris Kyle, a cowboy turned Navy Seal Sniper. Kyle, played by Bradley Cooper, starts off as a cowboy riding around with his brother from state to state. After seeing a bombing on the news where American civilians were killed, Chris takes a visit to a military recruiter. While the recruiter tells him how hard the training is to become a Seal, Kyle is unshaken in his pursuit to serve his country. Eastwood flashes back to Kyle’s upbringing and the values his father instilled in him. In a scene where his little brother Jeff was getting beaten up, Chris comes in and takes down the bully. In the following scene, there father Wayne Kyle tells the boys that there are three type of people in the world “Sheep, Wolves, and sheepdogs”. We think it is safe to say that Chris Kyle was the later of those three. After making it through the training the rest of the movie pops back and forth between his multiple tours and his stints back home between those tours. Warning: This movie is very violent and shows the harshness of war, along with not being shy in any way with regards to how soldiers talk to each other. The action scenes presented by Eastwood are wickedly intense, but the real skill in this movie was the ability to make viewers sit on the edge of their seats throughout the movie, even when Kyle returned home from war between his times in Iraq. This is where Bradley Cooper’s riveting performance boosts this film from just being breathtaking during the action scenes. Cooper gives a controlled portrayal of Kyle and adds such an element of realism that when he does get intense it’s gut-wrenching. The relationships Kyle has with his wife and his fellow soldier is another thing that helps American Sniper excel. While the writing of this screenplay sometimes gets undisciplined, the character development and how they interact adds a tremendous amount of weight to this film. Throughout the movie you don’t feel like you’re watching an actor’s portrayal of a hero, but a true hero himself.
American Sniper has been getting a lot of grief (from radically left wingers like Michael Moore) about the morality of this movie. They believe American Sniper is trying to recruit people to be pro-gun and war but this movie is about way more than that. What Moore forget to understand is that freedom comes at a cost and this movie is a tribute, specifically to Chris Kyle, to those who sacrifice their lives to protect that freedom.
Final Thoughts: Much like Lone Survivor, American Sniper excels not as just as a visceral action movie, but a moving film about real people’s ultimate sacrifice for their country. See this movie! It is not even that close to a perfect movie with heavy handed writing and uneven directing at times with regards to certain scenes, but the message and importance of this movie can’t be overstated. Bradley Cooper gives a powerhouse commemorative performance and reminded us all that Chris Kyle was a true American Hero and we are forever thankful for all he did during and after his fight against terror.