Based on a true story, “American Sniper” follows the life of Marine Sniper Chris Kyle, played by Bradley Cooper (“Silver Linings Playbook”) who was a former Rodeo Rider from Texas. Like other true story war films, “American Sniper” shows a man who finds the woman he marries, they have their mini love story and start a family together that is filled with laughs and plenty of heartache.
“American Sniper” is directed by Dirty Harry Himself, Clint Eastwood, who does a good job in the shots and action sequences, making the film a surreal one at times. His portrayal of Kyle comes across as the typical American action hero, who is stubborn and has to save the world. Cooper does a fantastic in the portrayal of Kyle. The emotions and portrayal of the Texan accent are well done as well.
The controversy that seems to surround this film is understandable. Cooper as the Marine sniper is portrayed as a man who suffers from PTSD and shoots women and even children who are a threat to his team. There were several scenes in this film where the audience will feel uncomfortable as women and children are considered a confirmed kill.
“American Sniper” does have its high and low points. There were several instances throughout this film that will have you root for Kyle as he takes out enemies with precise shots. There are other times in the film that felt extremely repetitive. For instance, Kyle comes home from his first tour of duty and his wife does not see him as the same person and continually tells him that until he goes back to fight in Iraq. This happens about four more times throughout the movie until Kyle finally realizes he is broken as a man and finally gets help.
There is a point of the film that felt completely unrealistic. Kyle has a showdown with a fellow Iraqi sniper who runs across rooftops and is a lethal shooter as well. Kyle finally has the opportunity to take this sniper out and the way he does so seems completely unrealistic considering the fact that the distance is hundreds of yards away and the vision is next to impossible to spot. Not to mention the impact the wind from a distance could have on the bullet which in reality could impact if the shot is effective or not. The slow motion shot of the bullet seemed mostly for effect only and the confirmed kill to the Iraqi sniper was absolutely lame and unrealistic- more so than heroic and courageous.
Overall, “American Sniper” was a good film, not a great one. Therefore it is not on the level of Oscar worthy films. Cooper does a tremendous job portraying Chris Kyle but his role is similar to a previous film “Silver Linings Playbook” with a’ lot less intensity. Amidst the controversy that surrounds this film, the acting is solid and the directing is decent. As far as Kyle goes, his story was portrayed as a loose cannon sniper who took it upon himself to bend the rules in order to become a hero. Not to take away from the films great attempt to display courage and honor, but we all have seen this before.