Ricky's Film Reviews

Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases

American Sniper

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Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle’s pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and turns him into a legend. Back home to his wife and kids after four tours of duty, however, Chris finds that it is the war he can’t leave behind.

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Cast

Bradley Cooper – Chris Kyle

Sienna Miller – Taya Renae Kyle

Max Charles – Colton Kyle

Luke Grimes – Marc Lee

Kyle Gallner – Goat-Winston

Sam Jaeger – Captain Martens

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Insightful

American Sniper is an honest in-depth look at war, and how it affects the men who enter it. This movie’s winning element for me was how it showed the psychological / mental effect being a Navy SEAL has on certain men involved. The movie contains ‘trigger’ scenes; Chris sitting peacefully at his kitchen table reading the morning newspaper. Suddenly the sound of his neighbour starting up their lawnmower pierces the air – he instantly stops, eyes strongly focused on where the sound is coming from. Watching intently. On edge..

A few scenes contain moments like this. And it makes for an intriguing, slightly emotional watch. Cooper does a brilliant job of playing the army boy, delivering great tension where needed and remaining a consistent energy throughout.

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Chemistry

The on-screen chemistry between Cooper and Miller is brilliant. They make a very convincing couple which begins with the flirty scene in a bar. When Chris first meets Taya she is being ‘hit on’ by a drunken soldier she couldn’t be less interested in. Enter beefy Chris with hunky attitude and wise words, and the soldier fucks off instantly opening a pathway to Chris and Taya’s whirlwind romance – ultimately ending in marriage and children. The outcome of their first meeting is blindingly obvious; Cooper may as well have held up a sign with ‘WE GET MARRIED IN THE END’ on. But although their relationship outcome is very predictable, the actors stir up an enjoyable sexual chemistry. It begins with a “hello” – leads with flirting – continues to honest conversation between the pair – then ends in them porking each other. I don’t tend to focus much on ‘talky’ scenes between characters in movies, but this one was bearable. Mainly due to the topic of conversation; Taya questioning why Chris thinks being in the army is a good idea. And later on in the movie, she erupts in a fit of “WHY DO YOU DO IT?” which I found interesting, as its usually the question I have personally when I see footage of such men fighting (on the news for example).

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The beginning of American Sniper blends Chris’s personal timeline, from joining the military to meeting and marrying Taya. Scenes move along nicely, blending from one to another – one second Chris is performing sit-up’s whilst being sprayed with a hose, the next he’s moving into their new apartment. Such romantic dialogue and action ran the risk of being boring – but it wasn’t. I actually found their story interesting. Bearable. Which is good, because what was coming next was total carnage..

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Aim.. Fire

Any and all battle scenes in this movie made for a compelling watch. From Chris’s rooftop dilemma involving a Muslim lady and her grenade-bearing son, to house raids and explosive confrontations with deadly strangers, the movie contained some fantastic tensity. Intrigue, suspense, the final result – it’s all here, so if you’re a fan of features like this then this is definitely worth a watch.

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I remember a few years back hearing about a movie called The Hurt Locker. About a bunch of military boys out in the desert somewhere, doing their duty. “boring” I thought, “130 minutes of watching army guys fire guns into the distance”. But I was proved wonderfully wrong when I popped the rental dvd into my player. I remember letting out gasps of “FUCK” and “wow” and such as the explosive story unfolded. Low expectations became very high outcome.
I now own The Hurt Locker on dvd.

There’s no better feeling when watching a movie than thinking it’s going to be a truck of shit and it turns out brilliant. American Sniper had this effect on me; I was pleasantly surprised by the engaging action and found myself intrigued during the battle scenes. Some tense moments take place which I found quite enjoyable.

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Hang Up

One scene sees a pregnant Taya leaving hospital after a routine check-up, and walking straight onto the Iraq battlefield. By recieving a telephone call. As she stands talking to Chris about her day on the expectant mothers ward, he is sat on a truck moving into a danger zone whilst telling her about his day – at war. As events unfold he drops his phone and Taya is left on the other end, listening to the gunfire and yelling. “hang up..” I thought, “you’re really NOT going to want to listen to this”. This was something I’ve not really seen in movies before; a person stood listening to their partner’s dangerous ordeal on the telephone. This scene broke the movie up nicely, adding another dash of intrigue to what was happening on screen. I have to say, this movie got better as it went on.

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American Sniper took me by surprise. What I assumed would be a dull feature involving soldiers walking around a sandy plain sharing tedious dialogue, was actually quite good. My main praise has to be how the movie explores the psychological aftershock war has on soldiers. I felt a little saddened by scenes where Chris hears an everyday sound, and automatically goes into defence mode – top marks for the director here, making the audience aware of a crucial part of soldiers lives.
On a lighter note, Bradley Cooper is fucking SMOKING during this movie. The actor is very beefed up and furry – if you find him easy on the eye in general, you should see him here. He certainly got my juices flowing.
Good film. Not the most earth-stopping thing I’ve ever seen, but definitely worth a watch if staying in on a Saturday evening. And be prepared for the ending scene if you’re a ‘crier’ – I almost burst into tears myself.

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This entry was posted on February 11, 2015 by .
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