June 16, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

REVIEW: American Sniper hits the bulls-eye

American Sniper“American Sniper,” featuring Bradley Cooper in a powerful performance as U.S. Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, is a very intense and effective exploration of brotherhood, sacrifice, and loyalty among a group of Navy SEALS fighting in Iraq.  The movie is based on Kyle’s autobiography.

Bradley Cooper gained 40 pounds for the role of Chris Kyle, a lot of which seemed to be muscle. Early scenes in the movie show all the training that the SEALS have to go through and it is extremely grueling – definitely only for the toughest and most perseverant out there. Kyle was credited as the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history.

His dad taught him early on to stand up and fight against the bullies in the world and to put God, country, and family above all else.

Kyle is always shown as calm, cool, and a man of few words (much like director Clint Eastwood himself) with never a trace of arrogance unlike some of the SEALS depicted in an early bar scene.

Sienna Miller plays the wife and she does a good job in a fairly limited role, always apprehensive about her husband going back to Iraq for another tour of duty.  The two of them meet in a bar, as he assures her that he is not just another stereotypical Navy SEAL.

What Kyle and his team are assigned to do is capture the al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, along with his second-in-command, known simply as, “The Butcher.” A lot of scenes, as Kyle and his team are looking for these dangerous men, are filled with tension. Kyle is known as “The Legend” among his troops, but that reputation makes him the target of Iraqi insurgents

While watching “American Sniper,” one is reminded of another Iraq war set movie – “The Hurt Locker.” Both films feature protagonists who put themselves in dangerous situations for the good of our country and who have much difficulty adjusting when they come back to their families. In a sense, they seem more at ease in the war environments that they find themselves in.

I thought that it cheapened things to show the Kyle’s holding what was obviously a baby doll, instead of a real baby girl in a scene

Clint Eastwood’s direction is very meticulous. He makes you really feel what it must have been like to be in enemy territory, with battle scenes that are quite well done.

While certainly not an easy watch at times, the movie shows us a flawed man who gave a lot for this country and is able to make us somewhat sympathize with him. We get a good understanding of the devastation that war takes on those who take part in it.

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