American Sniper is a recent film by Clint Eastwood and based on a true story about Chris Kyle, a sniper in the army touring Iraq. His aim and ability to eradicate enemy activity from away leads him to earn the title ‘Legend’ for saving marines.
Clint is a master storyteller and the tense scenes on Iraqi rooftops choosing if to shoot or not sharply contrast with the time spent with his family. Kyle is driven by his need to serve his country and protect his fellow soldiers which causes a conflict with his wife who is left to bring up his two children. His pin sharp focus down a viewfinder and his almost catatonic state at home.
The film has met with some criticism around being too pro American and pro military / war, but it has to be remembered that this is based on the real life of a soldier who was driven, like many others after the World Trade Centre attacks. It’s well made and some great tension in places. The one comment I would make is that there is little point in the marine training sequences as they do little to add to the story other than meeting his future wife. Also we are told little about Kyle’s recovery post war. He turns from someone suffering from trauma back to a well adjusted Texan cowboy in a single cut.
Despite this important omission, I did enjoy watching the film and I continue to rate Clint as one of my favourite filmmakers.