So, over this past weekend, in the middle of a snowstorm, I went to see "American Sniper." I'd been meaning to see it since it came out over Christmas break and finally got a chance to get to the theater (which, mind you, is a whopping 2 miles from my house).
First thought: While it's over 2 hours long, it flies by. Eastwood paces it very well, with rapid-fire battle scenes interspersed with tense, terse personal scenes throughout. The complex character of Chris Kyle is fleshed out, beyond "the Legend" who had more enemy kills than any other American sniper. The toll that war takes is clearly etched on Kyle's face and demeanor, and Bradley Cooper does an excellent job conveying the complex emotions torturing him.
Anyone that claims "American Sniper" is some sort of pro-American military, pro-war movie quite simply has no idea what they're talking about. While the American military isn't viewed unfavorably, it's far more a means to an end. Sure, it doesn't go out of its way to point out every fault, but that's not why the movie was made. And there's plenty of questioning why we're at war, why men are dying, why men like Chris Kyle have to do what they do.
And there are some cliches that could probably have been done without. The enemy master sniper played against Kyle was too close to a foil, right down to making scope adjustments in the same manner (and a Soviet scope on a PSL hardly makes the same clicks as the standard U.S. Military issue scope). While there's a lot of cheering at a critical juncture (I won't spoil it for you), anyone that couldn't see it coming from 10 miles away should get their eyesight checked.
Overall, though, I really liked "American Sniper." While folks certainly have their opinions of Chris Kyle (and Taya Kyle, and Clint Eastwood, and pretty much everyone else involved in the making of this movie), it's an engaging story about a charismatic individual who happened to be exceptional at what he does. Were he a stock car driver, fighter pilot, or bartender he might have been played by Tom Cruise. As it stands, Cooper did an excellent job in the big role as Chris Kyle.
Two thumbs enthusiastically up for "American Sniper".
That is all.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad