Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases
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.
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
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.
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).
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..
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.
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.
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.
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.