KEEPING IN MIND that war is hell, see this movie if you have a perverse hankering to witness just how bad that can be. This particular war takes place in modern-day Iraq, showing you in grim detail how your life can suck if only you would enlist in the military. There are guns, tanks, helicopters, grenades and lots of sand and men in goggles. Faces get shot off. Bodies drop in the dirt, spurting blood onto nearby buildings like those old Spin Art paintings from the ’60s.
As my husband so poetically put it, American Sniper is a dick flick. Anyone going for the purpose of seeing current #1 heartthrob Bradley Cooper might as well stay home since he is nowhere to be found. Instead we have his beefed-up doppelganger with a toned-down intellect and a Texas twang. As former real-life Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, in this based-on-a true-story story, he’s quite good with a rifle. In fact, he’s legendary. He’s a legend in his own time, which is why he earned the nickname Legend, a fact we hear repeatedly in case we missed it the first few times.
Our hero also has a civilian life which he gets back to every three or nine months. His new wife (Sienna Miller) is pretty, patient and pregnant most of the time. In several scenes we see her chatting happily with Chris on her cell phone about trivial matters on the home front while he, in Iraq, has a kill in the crosshairs. Eventually we see her screaming into the phone as she hears the gunfire and puts two and two together. (Personally, I would have hung up immediately.)
The esteemed Clint Eastwood directed but I’m not sure he had a lot to do, since all the scenes looked pretty much the same: Soldiers wearing camouflage and gas masks riding in tanks or hunched over, aiming rifles into crappy-looking shacks. There are no big thrills, memorable scenes or profound monologs. The enemy is anyone wearing a curtain on his head. Most of them get shot, usually by Chris since he is so darned good at it.
I guess the title says it all. What did I expect?
MyLittleBIrd contributor Andrea Rouda blogs at “Call Me Madcap!”