In the first scene we see the “sniper” lying on his belly in war- torn Iraq; his weapon focused on a woman and child; the child is handed a grenade and runs toward a US convoy entering the area; does he kill the child?
“American Sniper” is Clint Eastwood’s gloriously stunning tale of Chris Kyle, an ordinary man, keen marksman, who loves his country and enlists in the Navy Seals after seeing the “Twin Towers” implode on 9/11; an iniquitous moment that ruined a world taken for granted; devoid of politics, based on the book “American Sniper” written by Kyle, Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice, it’s prescience is brutally subjective; reticent, religious, Kyle’s world is black and white; pristine conscience, credited with over 160 kills, he is legendary, modest and impenetrable to scrutiny; his wife “Taya” desperately struggles with his intransigence and compelling desire to return to the fray (4 tours, testing the odds).
A pneumatic Bradley Cooper gives a tour de force depiction of a simple Texan; a cowboy, bronco -rider, beer-drinking, fun-flavored guy; recognizing that Chris is a metaphor for so many young, idealistic men, enlisting to “save” the good from the rotten; conversations between the men, even while engaging in battle, resonate with raunchy humor, starving off the omnipresent threat of obliteration. Mesmerizing battle scenes, rooftop ambushes, sand storms, shrouded enemies, at times using women and children as shields; redolent with savage, bloody violence, brilliantly adheres to Chris’s active, witnessed account.
Sienna Miller as “Taya Kyle” (closely resembling actual Taya), is enchanting in their initial encounters, exceptional in her quest to find the “man”, before war had created a “legend”.
Proust felt that “the mind has landscapes which it is allowed to contemplate for only a certain space of time”; Eastwood’s perspicacity, Cooper’s genius excavate Kyle’s extraordinary life, allowing viewers to contemplate it for all time.
FOUR & 1/2 STARS!!!!