Review: AMERICAN SNIPER (2014)

Review: AMERICAN SNIPER (2014)

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Clint Eastwood´s Biopic AMERICAN SNIPER tells the story of the most lethal sniper in the American military, Chris Kyle. Kyle served four rounds in the Iraq war and was awarded numerous medals, including two silver-stars. He saved countless soldiers on the battlefield, but struggled to live a normal life as a father and husband.

No matter what you may think about Chris Kyle as a person, AMERICAN SNIPER is a great Movie. Clint Eastwood´s direction get´s better and better the older he is and Bradley Cooper´s and the rest of the cast´s performance is really top-notch.
AMERICAN SNIPER is very violent and shows the gruesome face of war. But it´s actually not what you would call an Anti-war movie.  Though Eastwood shows Kyle as an idealist who wants to protect his country and his people, it looks more like an advertising campaign for the military or the NAVY SEALS. In a way, it is the RAMBO 3 of our time, but that doesn´t mean it´s necessarily a bad movie. Personally, I am as anti-war as you can be but after watching AMERICAN SNIPER i felt like “Hell yeah, I want to do my part to support our troops too! WHERE CAN I SIGN?”. Not sure if that´s a good thing to say about a movie because it leaves the taste of propaganda in my mouth. However, if you like video games like CALL OF DUTY or METAL GEAR SOLID, you will certainly love this movie.
It´s credible, beautifully filmed and perfectly edited. The war scenes are among the best that I´ve ever seen and though war by itself is a terrible thing, the movie is kinda cool. It´s actually as if you were playing a 3D Shooter in the form of a movie and it´s really fun to watch it
Bradley Cooper really owns Kyle´s Role and gives his Biography an authentic face. The more I see Bradley Cooper in action movies, the more I want to see him again because he has great physical presence.
In a certain way, AMERICAN SNIPER is very unpolitical and shows a rather unreflected view of the war in Iraq. In some Scenes, AMERICAN SNIPER reminded me about Ridley Scott´s BLACK HAWK DOWN and the faint Look in combination with the cold camera-filters suit the optic of the movie very well. Clint Eastwood takes you out of your comfort zone and reminds you that people are dying out there, while we are busy living our normal day to day lives playing fantasy football. It gives the soldiers a face and reminds us that the numbers of dead soldiers on the news are actually real flesh and bones. That the victims of war are someones son or husband.  And that we shouldn´t take that for granted.

It´s not an accident that AMERICAN SNIPER was nominated for the Oscar in numerous categories. AMERICAN SNIPER is a great adaptation of Kyle´s rather polemic book and probably one of the most authentic War-Movies  that I´ve seen in a long time. Though the ideology of the movie is not really politically correct, it succeeds in showing the brutal reality that American soldiers have to face in order to survive. Bradley Cooper´s  Acting is simply outstanding and Clint Eastwood did a hell of a job capturing the mental problems that soldiers suffer from after they´ve been in a war. The quote “war puts thunder in your bones and makes it hard for you to go back and live a normal life” expresses that very well and when you look at Bradley Cooper´s performance, you feel like he actually really is Chris Kyle. Yes, he´s that good. Cooper also manages to portray Kyles´s conflict between killing people (and sometimes even young children) and protecting his country and takes him off the pedestal of a war legend and shows him as a vulnerable human being, with strengths and weaknesses.  It shows him as more than just a simple killing machine and that is absolutely one the strong parts of the movie

So, the direction and the editing is outstanding. The script on the other hand, not so much. Some of the scenes have the political complexity of a RAMBO Sequel, but because of the strong direction, it doesn´t really hurt. Unfortunately, AMERICAN SNIPER fails to show the people in Iraq as anything else but the enemy and that´s exactly the black and white way of thinking that keeps AMERICAN SNIPER from being a real classic. Nonetheless, AMERICAN SNIPER is a kick ass movie by the late Clint Eastwood and everyone who likes action movies should go to the theater to check it out!