Oh god, it´s Eastwood... my heart bleeds.
Before I do this I would like to say that I have nothing but respect for Mr. Kyle and the entire subject. Also, I apologize that I haven´t read the book yet: I simply didn´t have time, currently I´m in the middle of 5 books and a number of magazines. That being said, I´d compare it to The Big Red One (1980) – a movie with potential.
American Sniper should have been the story of a legend. Chris Kyle was a complex character, an American hero on the outside, a man who simply enjoyed war and killing on the inside. Instead, Eastwood portrayed him simple-mindedly as a one-dimensional, emotionless, not entirely human, a really fictional character, a proud American, a good man, a good father joining the military after 9/11 with no flaws whatsoever.
There were several opportunities which Eastwood completely missed: In one scene Iraqi people were viewed as targets at the end of the barrel – what, btw, was an excellent opportunity to show all those people at home via a movie that war is never a one sided business and things are never black and white, and I´ve seen too many documentary films, read too many memoirs and spoke with too many veterans to know better. This movie clearly aims to be anti-war but there´s no self-examination, no internal conflict, Kyle´s character did not develop; at the beginning of the movie it was the same person as at the end. And I seriously doubt he was like that in his real life. Although there was one PTSD related scene, during which Kyle faced a fellow soldier which life he saved back in Iraq, but the scene played out emotionless and I felt that Eastwood only kind of brushed against the subject – and it deserved better. The romantic premise, the secondary storyline of Kyle´s wife was superfluous, there was no conflict either. It was just a fairytale romance. Its purpose remains unknown to me. In another scene Kyle was seen carrying a Bible. He carried it but he never opened it. This subject was never addressed or explained...
I think that this review should end positively. There was one scene I really enjoyed: Kyle shooting the Syrian sniper making it “the longest shot in Iraq”, from the technical aspect of that entire engagement, although, historically, it never happened.
We are a non commercial community interested only in the discussion of all things military. We do not sell or authorise the use of images hosted on our servers, if you wish to purchase or use imagery contact the uploader directly.(you will need to register). Any requests received to purchase or use imagery will be ignored. Thank you and welcome to MI.Net
Film American Sniper
- Release Date:
- 15 January 2015
- Directed By:
- Clint Eastwood
- Run Time:
- 2h 13min
- Script written by:
- Jason Hall, Chris Kyle (book)