Biopic of Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper), the most-celebrated sniper in American military history. In the aftermath of 9/11, Kyle decides to serve his country by becoming a Navy SEAL. But with each tour of duty, he grows more detached from his wife and children. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi
Director: Clint Eastwood
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Luke Grimes, Sienna Miller, Kyle Gallner, Ben Reed
Release Date: Jan 16, 2015
Rated R for some Sexual References, Language Throughout and Strong Disturbing War Violence
Runtime: 2 hr. 12 min.
Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama
American Sniper is an interesting film that manages to be straightforward but complicated at the same time. Eastwood doesn’t really give us much of a point of view on the Iraq War; he’s more interested in the personal story of Chris Kyle which is refreshing since it could have easily devolved into a jingoistic anthem. Eastwood’s film alternates between the war and Kyle’s home life but it’s clear that Eastwood is far more comfortable with the war portion of the story. He delivers some impressive battle sequences with the final one being the most impressive and tense of the entire film. At the heart of the film is Bradley Cooper who does fine work embodying Chris Kyle and chartering his growing internal struggle as his military career wears on. Cooper is reserved and understated throughout but he captures the intensity and drive that ran through Kyle’s life. Even though it’s a biopic the film does seem to focus on Kyle almost exclusively which means that doesn’t get a good feel for his friends or even his wife whose under characterized. It doesn’t help that she’s played by Sienna Miller who’s not nearly a strong enough actress to believably deliver the emotional moments required. Some creative choices also left me scratching my head, such as the villainous enemy sniper which was always within earshot of Kyle, regardless of which tour of duty he was on. Even with its faults, the film does a fine job of honoring Chris Kyle’s memory and legacy.