"American Sniper," is a 2014 American biographical war drama film directed by Clint Eastwood and written by Jason Hall. It is based on Chris Kyle's best-selling autobiography American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History and stars Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller with Luke Grimes, Kyle Gallner, Sam Jaeger, Jake McDorman and Cory Hardrict in supporting roles.
The movie, based on Navy SEAL marksman Chris Kyle's memoir, is both a tribute to the warrior and a lament for war. Shirking politics, the film instead sets its sights squarely on its elite protagonist (Bradley Cooper), a traditional American war hero in an untraditional war.
Here is an archetypal American: a chew-spitting, beer-drinking Texas cowboy who enlists after the 1998 bombings of American embassies with resolute righteousness and noble patriotic duty. The once wayward Kyle finds his true calling in the Navy, and he heads to Iraq with a moral certainty that no amount of time served or kills will shake.
And kill he does. With 160 confirmed kills, Kyle is believed to be the most lethal sniper in U.S. history. The film starts with a remarkable scene of Kyle poised on an Iraq rooftop with a young boy holding a grenade in his scope. Eastwood and screenwriter Jason Hall flash back to Kyle's upbringing, where his father taught him about "the gift of aggression" and the honor of defending others.
Cooper is extraordinary as Kyle. He has beefed up, adopted an authentic Texas drawl and endowed Kyle with a commanding swagger. The war steadily takes its toll on his psyche, even if he'd never admit it. When Kyle's younger brother, passing him on a Tarmac in Iraq, curses the war, Kyle looks him at with genuine befuddlement.
We follow Kyle through several tours in Iraq, and then he returns home. He is on-edge and he has difficulty adjusting to ordinary life. During a consultation with a psychiatrist, Kyle professes that he is "haunted by all the guys he couldn't save". The psychiatrist encourages him to help "save soldiers" in the hospital. Kyle takes a walk through the hospital and he meets veterans who have suffered severe injuries. Kyle decides to spend time with injured veterans at a shooting range in the woods. From then on, he gradually adjusts to home life.
In the closing scene, Kyle is at home. He is playful and happy as he says goodbye to his wife and family. Outside, his wife appears pertubed when she sees the veteran Kyle is taking to the shooting range. The film ends with text on screen stating, 'Kyle was killed that day by a veteran he was trying to help', followed by stock footage of thousands of people standing in line along the streets for his funeral procession. Thousands more are shown attending Cowboys Stadium for his memorial service.
An excellent movie by both Eastwood and lead actor Bradley Cooper.
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