Last night, Sidney and I went and saw “American Sniper.” We walked inside the Market Common theater ten minutes before the 7:45 p.m. showing and the auditorium was packed. We had to sit in the front row. It didn’t matter where we sat though because I was so excited about the film. I also like watching movies in full houses.
When I walked out of the theater last night, there was one thought more prevalent in my brain than anything else: The acting job of Bradley Cooper. By far the best performance of his career, Cooper played a role that was so unlike anything he had ever done before. The way he played the Texas war hero Chris Kyle was out of this world. Besides having the Texas drawl down pat and being every bit believable as a Navy SEAL sniper could be, Cooper looked very similar to Kyle. He put a tremendous amount of effort into transforming himself for that role. Oscar worthy no doubt.
The movie tells the tale of Chris Kyle, a former cowboy who joined the Navy and became a SEAL. Naturally gifted as a sniper, he became the deadliest shooter in American military history and earned the nickname “The Legend.” He didn’t just stay up on his perch though (and he absolutely could have if he wanted), he went on extremely dangerous village raids with marines as they went to search for bad guys. He completed four tours in Iraq.
The story is incredibly told with superb acting. It depicts the struggles and emotions of fighting in a deadly foreign country very well, both for the military personnel and their families. The film is authentic and believable, and will undoubtedly go down as one of America’s best war films.
The film does an amazing job capturing war zone Iraq. You get a true glimpse of what fighting was like during the war. It becomes plainly obvious that fighting wasn’t done on some glorified battlefield but rather in crippled neighborhoods and communities. The conditions they fought in were very well laid out and depicted. Director Clint Eastwood did a phenomenal job casting the Iraqi people. Everyone from the little kids to the villagers to the rival sniper to the bad guys (including a chilling portrayal of “The Butcher”) made the movie so real and so intense.
One of my favorite parts of the movie was watching Kyle’s character (Cooper) do his job…sniping. Watching him pick off Iraqi soldiers was intense and exhilarating. The film makers did what they needed to do to make his sniper work seem completely real while also honoring the amazing pure talent that Kyle had. In the last battle scene of the movie, Kyle’s most important and seemingly impossible kill is made. It is an incredible part in the film, one that will have you on the edge of your seat. It was my favorite part over the course of the two hours in the theater. Yes, there is the scene where he takes out a couple of non-military personnel but it will really just make you respect him even more for doing what he had to do.
I had a tough time with the ending. Half of it comes with me just not liking the real life events that unfolded and half of it comes from the way it was depicted in the movie. I don’t want to give too much away about the film so I will just stop there.
“American Sniper” is a great movie, one that most people need to see. Because of the ending and because of a couple other things, I do like “Lone Survivor” better but that is just me. If you are a Bradley Cooper fan get to the theater as soon as possible and see his performance. If you are an American and you like to see our war heroes do incredible things, you should probably get there even faster.
When Chris Kyle was asked whether he regretted any of his kills, he responded in this way: “I regret the people I couldn’t kill before they go to my boys.” Don’t Blink.