Movie Review: American Sniper

 

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It is not too often that I actually go to the theater to see a movie, but American Sniper looked so good that I had to make an exception. And while I still don’t like spending a fortune on popcorn and a drink, this movie made it worth every penny. The Clint Eastwood-directed movie is a lose adaptation of the novel written by Chris Kyle, with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice.

The movie tells the story of Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper), an everyday American that was living his life in Texas as a cowboy. One day he decides he wants more out of his life and signs up for the Navy Seals. He goes through the harsh training and never gives up. During this time, he meets Taya (Sienna Miller). They hit it off and start dating, despite her initial feelings of being in a relationship with a Navy Seal.

One morning they watch as the Twin Towers are destroyed by terrorists on September 11 and they know he will soon be deployed. But before he is deployed, they get married with the knowledge that when he gets home, they will start a family. But after he is sent overseas, Kyle feels the need to keep going to help fight for his country. Overall, he spends four tours in Iraq and becomes known as “legend” because of the number of kills he has.

But after experiencing all the horrors of war, Chris returns home and has to adapt back to a normal life. He now has two kids and cannot seemingly keep his head straight to help his wife raise them. He is on edge most of the time and it eventually hurts his family life. But after meeting with a group of veterans, he begins to turn his life around. Then, after he has seemingly gotten his life straight, he takes another veteran to a shooting range and is shot to death by the man he was trying to help. A man who was one of his own kind.

The story is widely known and it is tragic to see the story progress. But as far as the film itself goes, it was a brilliant piece of art from director Clint Eastwood. Eastwood has a unique talent for making compelling films and does it once again with American Sniper. The war scenes are so realistic and look amazing on the big screen, especially the scene during the middle of a sandstorm.

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Also, the performances of Cooper and Miller are great. Cooper packed on the extra weight and took voice lessons to be as close to the real Chris Kyle as possible and it works. He plays the part of the American hero damn near to perfection. Any award he is nominated for should easily go to him. And Sienna Miller is wonderful as Taya Kyle. When we first me Taya, she is an easy going woman that enjoys this new relationship with Chris. But then, she transforms into the worried and scared mother and wife that makes the audience feel the pain she is feeling. The supporting cast also does terrific in their roles and adds to the overall quality of an already amazing movie.

Few movies can make you think so much about the subject matter the way American Sniper does. It is a movie that is touching, yet haunting. It is a beautiful story about a man that did everything to protect his country but also a horror story about war and life after war. For anyone considering seeing American Sniper, I highly suggest it. It is worth every penny and is by far one of the greatest movies to be released in a long time. In a time where comic book characters are the major movie heroes, it was an honor to watch a great movie about a true hero.

Daryl Karpinski Jr.

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