Is it possible to laud individual greatness when it’s in service of an unjust cause? This is what Eastwood tries in American Sniper, and he fails miserably.
Chris Kyle’s skill and bravery are undeniable but with every bullet that splats blood across Iraqi ruins you can’t help but remember the highly dubious motivation for this war. Eastwood’s focus on the individual rather than the collective means zero jeopardy when Kyle’s compatriots are in danger, and zero sympathy when any of the Iraqi “savages” are killed.
Cooper and Miller are excellent, but there’s little they can do with a script this crude.
American Sniper loses a star purely for the least appropriate use of slo-mo bullet time in the history of cinema. A dreary, teary-eyed salute to the American flag.
CAST: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Kyle Gallner
DIRECTOR: Clint Eastwood
WRITERS: Jason Hall (screenplay); Chris Kyle, Scott McEwen and James DeFelice (book)
SYNOPSIS: Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle’s pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and turns him into a legend. Back home to his wife and kids after four tours of duty, however, Chris finds that it is the war he can’t leave behind.