AMERICAN SNIPER | MOVIE REVIEW

Men love war movies, boys love toy guns and playing soldiers – don’t think they play cowboys and Indians anymore, but I could be wrong, but my point is war movies will always find an audience. It always helps if they have a great director, a sublime actor, and a screenplay that is award worthy. And so it is with AMERICAN SNIPER, a Clint Eastwood film starring a much heavier Bradley Cooper about an American war hero and patriot. AMERICAN SNIPER is out Thursday 22nd January in Australia from Roadshow Films (although some seeks on this weekend), it runs for 132mins and is rated MA15+.  

 

AMERICAN SNIPER MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
AMERICAN SNIPER | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER IMAGE

 

Chris Kyle is an American war hero, a mediocre cowboy in the literal sense from Texas, USA, he wants something to do with his life, he is a man of morals and his fibre is 100% US of A. He sees a military recruitment opportunity and signs on for Navy Seal training. Through his youth he has grown to be a great shooter and ends up in the Sniper division – not just in the division, he is proclaimed most lethal sniper in U.S. military history, having accumulated 160 confirmed kills out of 255 probable kills. He ventured into a war to make change, he just didn’t realise how the war would change him.

It is not the effect you would expect from someone who does four tours of duty, it is something different, he is affected mostly because he cannot help his fellow soldiers more. He is very humble but incredibly brave, a true hero of the war and a man who had close on a six figure bounty on his head from Iraqi insurgents who referred to him as Devil of Ramadi.

 

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AMERICAN SNIPER | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | CHRIS KYLE (BRADLEY COOPER) WITH HIS SNIPER RIFLE

 

Eastwood delivers another solid movie, it is a brilliantly packaged movie from go to woe and has that Eastwood patriotic feel to it plus a nice love of guns all thrown in with a brilliant biopic. Kyle is an ideal subject for a movie and from all accounts the story nails it. Of course it is filled, and occasionally let down by too many American Wankerisms, or more commonly overtly patriotic scenes “Booyah.” But I think this will only be an issue outside of the U.S., inside the U.S. they lap the patriotism up, and of course this is a movie that deserves some decent patriotism. Everyone in the military, in the Inner West and those of high patriotism will love this movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it for a war movie, it has strong messages about the effects of war and also a great insight into war in the are. It also manages to see beyond a biopic patriotism and gives us a huge action movie with a nemesis and hero.

 

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AMERICAN SNIPER | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | CHRIS KYLE (BRADLEY COOPER)

 

The strongest part about this movie is Bradley Cooper, he is superb and I would go so far as to say his best performance. He owned the rights to this movie, is one of the producers and was prepping the movie to be made starring Chris Pratt but in the end could not give it up. He completely immersed himself in the role putting on over 20kgs, sticking to an incredible weights and diet regime, taking daily vocal coaching lessons and studying Kyle to the core. What we get from this is viewing Chris Kyle in the movie, Cooper completely disappears, it is truly remarkable.

Speaking of best performances, Sienna Miller blew me away in this movie, I have never been a huge fan, but her portrayal of Taya Kyle is brilliant. She is such a chameleon in looks – you can hardly recognise her and the woman seems incapable of aging.

There are some other decent performances in the movie but they are all backseat performances to Cooper and Miller.

 

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AMERICAN SNIPER | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | CHRIS KYLE (BRADLEY COOPER) AND TAYA KYLE (SIENNA MILLER) MEETING ON THE AIR STRIP

 

The structure of the movie is well paced and has everything you expect from this kind of movie, I loved that they did the Navy Seal training really quick, it was a step to where the story took place and we have seen enough yelling at and the bell to quit in movies, the war time stuff is great and action packed, but for a sniper I expected more sniping, I found that while he was listed as a sniper we saw him on the ground more as a soldier staying with his fellow marines.

Two major negatives for me, in one scene Kyle is on the phone to Taya and a battle ensues and he drops the phone, it devastates Taya and she does not know whether he is dead or alive, at the end of the battle there was nothing to indicate he wanted or needed to call his wife and reassure her – this I felt was a weak part of the story. The other that loses the one full point from my score. The baby – it is the worst fake baby I have ever seen in a movie, it might as well have been a cabbage patch doll, the cinema literally laughed – I just can’t fathom why a real baby could not have been used in this scene instead of that ridiculous doll. Totally gobsmacked at that!!

 

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AMERICAN SNIPER | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | CHRIS KYLE (BRADLEY COOPER) AND THE MOST FAKE BABY IN MOVIE HISTORY

 

If you love a good war movie, love Eastwood movies, love Bradley Cooper or just want to see a decent biopic of a war hero – then this is one for you. But don’t just listen to me, this morning it received six Oscar nominations: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Writing (for established work), Best Editing, Best Sound Design and Best Sound Editing. Well deserved nominations, now they just need the Razzie Award for worst baby ever!!!

 

4 Pops

 

 

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