I went to see this movie with a good friend of mine, Tom, a while back. He recently turned 18 and we got really very plastered to commemorate the occasion. So plastered in fact that funny and sad events occurred later in the night, surmounting to quite a weird morning. I would rather not elaborate more than that, so without further ado….
American Sniper i think is a review in two parts. To do this properly i must cover the movie, and all so how the movie has been received. Normally these two things go hand in hand with the general populous: good movie = positive opinions, bad movie = bad opinions, but i don’t believe that is the case this time. First, the movie:
Clint Eastwood directed this movie, which for me is a bad start right there….. he’s not my favorite director. He’s good, don’t get me wrong. He can give a movie all the suspense and power of a mid western duel at high noon; but i find he can’t deliver on much else and this is another example of that. This meant it was down to Bradly Cooper to make his character real. Most remembered by me for Limitless, The A-Team and the Hangover trilogy, Mr. Cooper had an impressive resume coming into this and i think in this movie he did the best bit of acting he could for what he was given.
He made Chris kyle come alive on screen as this Navy SEAL sniper who’s all about his job and for the majority of the movie that is enough, but towards the end when he has to show what it’s like suffering with P.T.S (Post Traumatic Stress), he face expressions just turned to stone and i found it wasn’t very believable at all. He just seemed wooden and cold for about 20 minuets-ish of the movie. I really found that quite disappointing as it’s a key moment for his character and i blame the direction, as Mr. Eastwoods idea of a man with troubles must reflect a mid western cow boy who sits at a bar all day drinking whisky with a stone dead persona. I just think it was far too underdone for how it could have been.
Now i have to talk about the ending, and this was by far the best bit of the movie and what has made it such a box office success in the states, without a doubt. Now me and my friend Tom, we didn’t know this was based on a true story….. so if you’ve seen it you can imagine how hard the end hit us. If you haven’t, it was like receiving a freight train to the chest.
The ending is so very powerful, i think because of how it just ends. It’s not your traditional something happens, you see the conclusion, people then talk about it, maybe a joke is thrown in, cigars are lit and it fades to black….. There’s none of that familiarity, it just ends. So that winds you and it’s all so such a tragic ending, so sad and unexpected; everyone in our screening room left that cinema in silence! Me and Tom were in such shock we got in my car and still didn’t talk or go anywhere for a further 5 minuets…
That’s what i love about Clint Eastwood films (and his acting actually), how they leave you breathless and in awe, just through sheer power. In this respect the film reflects the man Chris Kyle, and i personally love details like that.
Everything else with this movie was a bit average, to be frank. The support acting was good, especially from Sienna Miller (Taya Renea Kyle), but as we see her for only half the movie…. The movie was very focused around Bradly Cooper telling his story but i feel it kind of forgot there were other actors around at times, almost like it had been streamlined to only focus on Chris Kyle and; everyone else sought of blended into the scenery. The filming was good, nothing to mumble about. There was no “music by” in the credits even though i’m sure there was a melody at the end….
Now to get back to my original point about how this movie has been received. Many critics (especially the ones i read) have had mostly positive feedback on this movie, as i will in my conclusion later, because all things considered this isn’t a BAD movie, but many of the general people seem to disagree…
I have read plastered all over the internet that this movie is American military propaganda. I think this is codswallop! This movie is about an American Navy SEAL Sniper, and it was made in America by American actors and an American director. So is it going to be a little bit American?…. I Expected to see this story told from an American perspective and if you go to this movie not expecting to see any bias at all then i think you are an idiot. This does not make it propaganda; it makes it real. It had to follow the true story and what you see is, more or less, what happened to Chris Kyle.
The difference between this and propaganda is simple. This is true story told from a one sided perspective, so it is bias and maybe even accusable of being ignorant (i wouldn’t accuse it of this but hey….). Propaganda is the manipulation of fact and truth in the portrayal of something, to promote it. I ask you, where did this movie manipulate the true story of Chris Kyle, and to what is it promoting as propaganda? As someone who fully understands the uses, both current and historic of propaganda and it’s intended effects, i have full confidence in saying this is a movie, not a two and a bit hour propaganda campaign.
So, American Sniper. Undeniably an American movie; undeniably a powerful movie. The most powerful movie I’ve ever seen, and for that:
That Other Guy