Clint Eastwood’s (Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby) American Sniper brings tension and powerhouse acting to the table, fake babies and all.
I will get this out of the way before I continue any further. Yes, American Sniper uses a fake baby in one of its scenes and yes it is terrible, but other than that Eastwood, 84, hits a home run by honoring the life of U.S. Navy SEAL, Chris Kyle. Bound by patriotism and blunt force, American Sniper springs into action just in time for the Oscars. Being nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture and Actor, this film holds its place as a worthy contender for any award. Throughout the entire film, Eastwood battles with the horrors of war and the after affects it puts on our soldiers.
Sharpshooter Kyle (Bradley Cooper) was known as the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history with 160 confirmed kills in over four tours in Iraq. Scriptwriter Jason Hall adapts Kyle’s 2012 memoir with a fused pulse ready to ignite. Cooper transforms into our known Texas hero by growing a beard, gaining 40 pounds of muscle and waving his good ol’ Texas flag. As Cooper does with every character, he embodies every aspect of their humanity. Cooper goes all out in this performance by showing us a man who is not only haunted by the evils in this world, but by the men and women he could not save. At the beginning of this film, Eastwood inserts us right into the midst of war. We’re on a rooftop in Fallujah, where Kyle must make the call to take down an Iraqi woman and her son, who may or may not be hiding a grenade.
From that moment on, Eastwood has you hooked and sends shivers down your spine. It’s these kinds of moral conflicts that Kyle wrestled with all throughout the war. Between the tours, we see Kyle at home with his wife, Taya (Sienna Miller), and two kids. Here, Eastwood studies Kyle’s relationship with his family and how the war has put a toll on his life. We can see it just through Cooper’s eyes, with a since of sorrow and awareness. He’s always on his guard. Sadly, Kyle’s life was cut short when he was murdered in 2013 by the very people he was trying to help, a fellow comrade, he was 38. Eastwood guides the film all the way up until the very he died. American Sniper ends on a rather depressing note, but it leaves the audience with sheer admiration of Kyle’s life and spirit for serving our country. Freedom comes with a price and Eastwood shows us that very price through the very eyes of the men and women we send over on those battlegrounds.
American Sniper is rated R (Restricted). For strong and disturbing war violence, and language throughout including some sexual references.