Freitag, 6. März 2015


Title: American Sniper
Running Time: 132 min
Director: Clint Eastwood
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Max Charles, Kyle Gallner

When you say someone is the most successful in his job, but said "success" is measured in the number of people he killed, it is already a pretty divisive statement. If you make a movie about this person you are most definetly in for some controversy. Nevertheless, the Clint Eastwood directed Chris Kyle biography topped the US Box Office, and was nominated for a total of six Academy Awards. So does this mean the film isn't debatable after all?
No, it doesn't. "American Sniper" is a failed attempt at an anti-war movie that tells such a one-sided story, that with the right (or in this case wrong) interpretation it could easily be used as propaganda. Whatever good intentions Eastwood might have had with this film, he misses the mark over 90% of the time. And yet, the film starts with such a great opening (basically seen in full length in the first trailer) that seems to promise a multilayered and questioning look at a soldier's duties. But it is a deceiving first impression. What follows is an uncritical tale of a glorified soldier that flagrantly paints war black and white.
Not one shot an American soldier fires in this film is portrayed as unjustified, not a single Iraqi is shown to be a good person (or a normal person for that matter), a connection between the events of 9/11 and Iraq is implied, and when Chris Kyle says that he isn't haunted by the many people he killed but rather by the soldiers he couldn't save, there is nothing to challenge the moral of that statement.
There is a scene where he aims at a little boy who is about to pick up a bazooka. Many questions could be asked here, like: Would Kyle have to make a kill shot, or could a warning be enough? Or even more interestingly: What drives a young lad to even consider using this weapon? Instead of touching on these subjects however, the movie simplifies it for you. If the child doesn't pick it up it's good and is allowed to live, if it does pick it up though, he needs to die. According to the film this would be tragic, but also absolutely necessary. Even the few strong scenes (the phonecall from the bar, or a frightened Kyle at a child's birthday party) can't redeem the film from these kind of blunders.
A lot more could be said about this movie (did I mention it contains the fakest baby ever?), but in the end one has to only know this: "American Sniper" depicts the life of a soldier who went on record saying he 'loved' and had 'fun' killing people, without ever scrutinizing this man's ethics. A brilliantly acted, but poorly written film that wants to show how war destroys everyone even beyond the battlefield, only to end up saying that war simply ain't for sissies.
Seth Rogen's comparison between this movie and "Inglorious Basterds'" fictional nazi-propaganda "Nation's Pride" might be exaggerated, but quite comprehensible.

For Fans Of:
Lone Survivor (2013)
Shooter (2007)
Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

Click Here To Watch Trailer!

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