Posted by: greercn | January 17, 2015

American Sniper

Absorbing, entertaining and gripping. “American Sniper” should be the perfect war movie.

Clint Eastwood has a long track record in being brilliant at showing the realities of war. “Letters From Iwo Jima” is one of the best ever films about battle, dealing with class and conscription as much as with events.

Bradley Cooper is amazing as the real-life Chris Kyle, who went from humble beginnings to become a record-holding official sniper. I knew nothing of the true story, which meant I got to be genuinely shocked by the twists and turns in this tale.

With no proper beginning credits, I was surprised to learn that Sienna Miller played the woman left behind. She is unrecognisable and terrific.

And Clint knows his guns. The worship of weapons will make for uncomfortable viewing for all those who are anti-war.

Each time Kyle goes out on another tour of duty, he loses part of his ability to relate to his family. It’s intriguing, but not fully explored.

I was left with the feeling that Clint tried to pack so much into this labour of love that he falls into the over-sentimental territory that marked “Flags Of Our Fathers” with a tad too much patriotic zeal.

It all makes for viewing that will have more meaning for gung-ho men than for women. Girls get to be on the sidelines, unless they are terrorist targets. In that case, they only get seconds on screen.

I saw it at a special free screening for members of Stratford East Picturehouse. The full house all enjoyed it and it rattled along through its fast-paced action to its dramatic conclusion.

If you like Clint, guns and war or even if you just like Bradley and Sienna, you’ll love it. If you don’t, stay away. I wanted a bit more heart and a bit less technique.

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