American Sniper (2015)

Bullets and fake babies.

I'll start this review out by saying that I know people have strong feelings about Chris Kyle - some think that he was an infallible hero who gave his life for this country, and others say that he was a liar, a racist, and a serial killer. I don't care, and have no judgment about Chris Kyle - I didn't know him personally, and can only judge what I saw on screen. This is, after all, a movie review.

American Sniper tells the story of Chris Kyle, the 'Devil of Ramadi'. He was a Navy S.E.A.L. who has 160 confirmed kills with a documented 255 probable kills. He's the most lethal sniper in United States history in his four tours overseas.

The movie is directed by Clint Eastwood, who has made an amazing looking film. Bradley Cooper plays Kyle, and is the highlight of the film. His portrayal of a tortured man at work and home is captured perfectly. Cooper looks amazing in the movie - clearly he bulked up for the role. Sienna Miller plays his wife.

Aside from the piles of insurgents, the main villain in the flick is an opposing sniper named Mustafa. Their cat & mouse game brought memories of Enemy at the Gates, and was thrilling. The war scenes looked realistic and brutal, but the scenes of Kyle back at home left something to be desired - specifically one scene that I'll touch on in a moment. The ending is also very clunky.

The scene. The scene that I'll forever remember from this movie. It's not a scene where someone gets a limb blown off, or a soldier making a kill at ridiculous range...no...it's not a scene with great emotion or acting gravitas...no...it's a scene of Bradley Cooper holding a baby. Specifically, a baby that's faker than those plastic TV's that litter the inside of model homes, or a ring that you might get from a quarter machine. Could Clint Eastwood not get an actual baby? The baby he's holding is so ridiculously fake that it took my wife and I right out of the movie. Normally she doesn't notice things like props, but she picked this one right out of the lineup.

Even in a picture, that baby looks so goddamn fake.

Even in a picture, that baby looks so goddamn fake.

Aside from the prop baby, the movie was pretty good. It had some pacing issues, and like I said, the ending is a bit clumsy, but it's a good movie. A good movie I'll probably never want to see again.

My final grade: B