American Sniper impresses but misses the mark
American Sniper 6/10
THE latest film by masterful director Clint Eastwood was very divisive in the US when it was released last month.
Many reviewers dismissed it as blatant war propaganda, but others hailed it as one of the best war films in years.
So I was expecting something pretty controversial, but instead I got a gripping but not a very ground-breaking war film.
It's based on the memoir of former Navy Seal Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in US military history.
He was sent to four tours during the Iraq War and was credited with 160 confirmed kills during his tour of the conflict.
The film shows Kyle's early life in Texas, looking for adventure as a bull rider.
But after witnessing a news report of a terrorist bombing he joined the military to serve his country.
What follows is a mixture of gut wrenching action as Kyle hones his skills as a deadly marksman on the battlefield and the war impacts his return home.
As he becomes more skilled and decorated for his sniper skills he grows more distant from his wife and young family and has difficulty adjusting to life back home.
Although Bradley Cooper's portrayal of Kyle as he changed on the battlefield was impressive, I wanted the film to further explore the psychological impact of the war on him.
Instead the film only skimmed the surface and kicked back into generic action territory every few scenes.
American Sniper is a good film, but felt like a missed opportunity.