The direction from Clint Eastwood (J. Edgar) is below par. Bradley Cooper’s (American Hustle) acting was good and nothing more. I don’t believe he deserved the Oscar nomination and I think this is one of the most overrated movies that I have ever seen. I love Bradley Cooper and this is the only movie that he’s starred in, that I can say I don’t like The screenplay is competent. This movie had the chance to show the complexities of a flawed man (hailed as an American hero), Chris Kyle. By this I mean the disgusting and vile aspects of Kyle’s character. He enjoyed murdering people and he regarded his targets as savages. In short, he was far from a good man. Sadly, nobody would ever know this from the two-dimensional portrayal of him as an all American Hero in Eastwood’s film. Films like this should show the good, the bad and the ugly. Not just the things that are nice and easy to watch.
In this film, there isn’t an ounce of awareness that what the US military were doing in Iraq was illegal. Also, it doesn’t show how catastrophic America’s presence in Iraq was for the Iraqi citizens. The film depicted every Iraqi citizen as dangerous and murdering good American soldiers thus deserving to die. How can we judge a whole race based on a few people? Kyle is taught two lessons as a child. The first is pretty standard lesson in modern American culture. He was taught how to shoot deer. This is bog-standard in the south, in the lone star state of Texas. The second lesson is a longer lesson. The world is made up of three kinds of people. Firstly, you have sheep. These are people who can’t or won’t fight. Secondly, there wolves who are the evils of the world and lastly, the shepherds. Those are the good Samaritans of the world. Then 9/11 happened. We all know about that. Kyle adopts the identity of the Shepard and tells himself that if you won’t kill, can’t kill or if you are an evil person than you must do your civic duty and kill.
“I wondered, how would I feel about killing someone? Now I know. It’s no big deal”
How can a man who enjoyed killing be donned with the tag, “legend”? It’s disgusting. The message this movie delivers is horrendously backwards. Throughout the movie, we watch Chris Kyle murder copious amounts of Iraqi men, women, and even children to protect American troops. He did what he did for to save the troops but I don’t think he should be called a legend, or even a hero, as America loves to give members of the military the hero status.
American Sniper portrays Kyle as a soldier who kills people without critically evaluating why the said person should be killed. Kyle sees the convention of war as good vs evil and unable to see the grey areas or the bigger picture. This film glorifies killing and it’s good old American propaganda. This isn’t the first time that this has happened nor will it be the last time. This film cheapens human life. He’s a killing machine. He’s a cold man displaying next to no emotion. I felt that he was a cold-blooded murderer a lot of the time. I get that he was at war but I felt that Eastwood has directed a biased war movie.
My quarrel isn’t with the acting or filmmaking. It’s with the writing and the overall message of the film. It’s vile, disgusting and is enough to bring one to tears. It’s despicable and I wouldn’t advise anyone to watch this film. Stay away from this film at all costs. It glorifies killing and killing isn’t to be taken lightly. Kyle is a sociopath and is portrayed as a guardian angel despite doing what he did for the common good. He killed people, that doesn’t mean he should boast about it or even enjoy it. It’s a disgrace and typical war propaganda.
I’d rate this film at 6/10 purely for the general filmmaking elements such as sound, editing and cinematography. Cooper’s acting was good but I have seen him do better in pretty much every other film that he has done. It’s not his fault, it’s just a bad story, a bad script from the Eastwood \nd certainly wasn’t worth six Oscar nominations.