6 points about
So this will be the final movie in the Clint Eastwood directed movie series before the culmination with new release, Sully. American Sniper came out in 2014 and is based on a heroic true story. I knew absolutely nothing about the plot, this heroic guy or anything in general about the real story or the movie. I didn’t even look at the plot description on IMDb before. I feel like this did add to my enjoyment of American Sniper, but read on too find out my in-depth thoughts about American Sniper.
1. Bradley Cooper was amazing.
Some people argued that Cooper didn’t deserve his nomination in the 2014 Oscars, but I whole-heartedly disagree. He gave a very emotional and subdued performance that always was enthralling. He showed the audience exactly what trauma his character was going through, and as the viewer I could almost feel this characters pain with him. This was all down to Cooper’s performance. Cooper showed exactly how good he can be and he played to his characters emotions perfectly. By far the best performance in the movie and definitely one of the best performances of that year.
2. Except for Coopers character, nobody was fleshed out.
Cooper’s Chris Kyle was the only character that I really cared about to be honest. His wife in the movie had some moments but nothing too spectacular. The rest of his squad had very little backstory. Their only screen time really came when they were having a back and forth with Cooper. This was more to flesh out Cooper than the others as well. This isn’t to put any negatives into how they handled Chris Kyle as it was magnificently done, but I just wasn’t invested enough in everybody else. This undermined some big pay-off moments as the movie progressed, which is a real shame as I felt there was a lot of potential with the story of Chris and his wife or why some of the other squad members were there.
3. This was a compelling story.
The story of how this guy, Chris Kyle, is the best sniper in U.S military history and how he dealt with it all was brilliant. It is a great tale and it was so interesting to see how this guy dealt with the war and having to return to the war. Seeing how he dealt with the aftermath and what was going on inside his head makes this worth your while watching on its own. The fact that is a true story also really added to the weight of the movie and really made you think. How much of it is true? I don’t know, but just the pure idea of at least some of these events or scenarios actually happening is amazing and is amazing to see it unfold in the form of a movie is brilliant also.
4. Eastwood’s directing was very good.
Seen as the whole reason that this moving is being wrote about is because of Eastwood, it would be a shame not to talk about him. When this movie came out, he was in a bit of a ‘meh’ period. American Sniper certainly took him out of his poor run. Some of the scenes in this movie are so suspenseful and are done brilliantly. Eastwood’s great directing style comes through in this movie with some great action sequences also. After all this is a war movie so the action was done brilliantly. I was drawn into the gun battles and every scene with Cooper with a sniper in his hand, are done perfectly. Cooper more or less took the limelight in American Sniper, but Eastwood was certainly excellent in his role.
5. The cinematography, score, editing and everything else in this movie was excellent.
The one Oscar that this movie won, despite all the nominations, was for sound editing. A lot of people won’t notice the sound editing in a movie, but it is hard to ignore in this one. This movie sounds amazing and is a real credit to everyone behind the scenes. The cinematography was done by Tom Stern, who worked with Eastwood on many other projects, but this is the best shot movie of all the ones that I have reviewed of Eastwood’s so far. The shots when the sandstorm is incoming are fantastic. Everything in this movie is very functional. The screenplay was pretty good, the score was fine. Nothing was technically bad with American Sniper. When you add a technically good movie with a great story, you usually have an excellent movie on your hands.
6. This is a great story with a great Bradley Cooper performance, but lacks great character arcs.
Some people didn’t like this movie because of their opinions on this story that played out in real life, or on the overall subject matter. I totally understand this and all of the opinions about this subject. Yet I am purely writing these 6 points about the movie and how good a movie this was. This is an excellent movie, with a great Bradley Cooper performance. As I said this is technically very good and after all, it did receive 6 Oscar nods. It does lack any real supporting character or interesting character arcs that I felt it could have had which does seriously hold me back. There could easily have been 10 minutes of other unnecessary stuff cut, and added about 15 minutes of a side story about Kyle’s wife or something along those lines. If you are touchy on this subject matter I wouldn’t say this is your movie, but it is still a very powerful and emotional movie that I am going to give an 8.3/10.
Funny how my last review of Bad Santa got an 8.3 as well, but American Sniper is probably the far superior movie to Bad Santa. For a comedy movie, Bad Santa is an 8.3, but put in comparison to the likes of an American Sniper, it’s just not on the same level.