Navy SEAL Chris Kyle is sent to Iraq with only one mission: to protect his brothers-in-arms. His pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and, as stories of his courageous exploits spread, he earns the nickname “Legend.” However, his reputation is also growing behind enemy lines, putting a price on his head and making him a prime target of insurgents. He is also facing a different kind of battle on the home front: striving to be a good husband and father from halfway around the world. Despite the danger, as well as the toll on his family at home, Chris serves through four harrowing tours of duty in Iraq, personifying the spirit of the SEAL creed to “leave no one behind.” But upon returning to his wife, Taya (Sienna Miller), and kids, Chris finds that it is the war he can’t leave behind.
The movie is based on the book American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History by Chris Kyle. The movie is quite similar to The Hurt Locker in that both movies are set against the backdrop of the Iraq War. Both the protagonists are uncomfortable in their day to day life and want to be back in action. Both movies avoid any politics of the Iraq War. A major difference is that in The Hurt Locker Jeremy Renner’s character is friendly with a Iraqi kid and he does feel bad for the Iraqis like the scene where he cannot defuse the bomb planted on a innocent Iraqi. In American Sniper Bradley Cooper’s character is not friendly with any Iraqis and there are hardly any good or innocent Iraqis in the movie.
The first scene where Kyle shoots a kid and a women who are about to throw a grenade is very good. The scene where the father tells them they cannot be sheep or wolf but have to be sheepdog is good. The scene where The Butcher kills the kid and the father is excellent. The scene where Kyle takes out Mustafa is very good too. The scene where Kyle is sitting before a TV that is turned off and hearing sounds from war is excellent and so is the scene where he is looking at the rear view mirror all tense when he is back in US. The best scene of the movie is the scene where he does not want to shoot the kid who picks up the rocket launcher.
Bradley Cooper who bulked up for the role is very good as Chris Kyle and deserves the Oscar nomination for Best Actor. He is good as someone who genuinely believes that he is protecting his country by fighting in the Iraq War. He is also very good as the soldier who can’t leave the war behind and has trouble adjusting back to the daily life. Sienna Miller is good as his wife.
The movie is very engrossing and it does not bore at all. There are scenes showing how veterans have lost their limbs in the war. The movie tries to show how soldiers have trouble adjusting to normal life after being in a war. Clint Eastwood’s direction is good as usual and he is subtle about many things – the way Kyle expresses amazement when he sees his brother wanting to get out of Iraq or the way Kyle is in denial that there is anything wrong with him after coming back or the way he does not want to shoot the kid who picks up the launcher.
Now if the movie was based on a fictional character then it would have all been fine. But since it is based on Chris Kyle’s life it appears that the movie is glorifying him ignoring all the negative things about him. There is a scene in the movie where he tells that he knows what a Koran is and that person wasn’t carrying a Koran but a weapon which he goes on to describe. But this is what he is supposed to have said according to his own memoir -“I don’t shoot people with Korans. I’d like to, but I don’t.” The movie never shows the side of Kyle where he wrote stuff like “I hated the damn savages I’d been fighting, I never once fought for the Iraqis. I could give a flying f**k about them.” Link
Chris Kyle lied in his book that he punched Jesse Ventura for allegedly saying the SEALs “deserve to lose a few” in Iraq for which his estate got sued and lost. He falsely claimed that he climbed to the top of the New Orleans Superdome during Hurricane Katrina and sniped to death 30 African-American looters for which there’s no record. Chris Kyle falsely claimed to have shot carjackers. He said in his book that he and fellow snipers had a competition for who could kill the most Iraqis. He boasted about shooting two Iraqis who he believed to be insurgents, at the same time, with one bullet on a moped, and said that that bullet was an efficient use of taxpayer money. Then he later claimed that the IED they were holding somehow disappeared. Link
None of this from the book makes it to the movie. Its all about this righteous American hero who fights for his country and how the war affects him and his personal life. So if one is looking for a entertaining war movie or a movie about a American hero then they will like this movie. But if one is looking for a movie on the real Chris Kyle then this movie is not for them.Tags: Bradley Cooper Clint Eastwood Exclusive Member Reviews Reviews Sienna Miller