American Sniper promises to look into the life of a Navy Seal.
The film has intense scenes that portray the moral dilemma of being a soldier. In the first scene, Kyle has to decide whether to shoot a boy who appears to be carrying a bomb.
Bradley Cooper delivers a great performance as Chris Kyle. He’s unrecognizable at times as the Legend because of his portrayal and it’s not just because of his physical transformation.
But this legend is turned into an idealized soldier in a typical Hollywoodized film. The moral dilemma that you saw, in the beginning, is replaced with mythmaking.
The first half of the movie focuses on a black and white war where Kyle jumps from one battle scene to the next, shooting bad guys (savages) to protect the good guys (powerful American soldiers).
The second half focuses on his PTSD and leapfrogs through his recovery, showing that the man overcame it through benevolence and willpower.
In between, you have a revolving cast of characters that are only there to serve his story, including a fictional foe and a fake baby.
The movie avoids the ethical and political issues surrounding the War in Iraq then falsely connects it to 9/11.
It’s not surprising that this movie has little concern for nuance. It’s based on a person who embellished his military records.
American Sniper is a typical Clint Eastwood feature – a cookie-cutter movie with sure-handed film direction that panders to its audience.
American Sniper is a self-righteous, well-lit American fairytale that reduces complex issues to a mythical Oscar-baiting biopic.