Directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Bradley Cooper, American Sniper tells the true story of Chris Kyle (Cooper) the deadliest sniper in American history who was responsible for over 150 kills during four tours of duty in Iraq.

The first 20 minutes takes us from Kyle's early life in Texas, where his religious father would take him deer hunting and teach him that a man has to stand up and fight for what he believes in, to him joining The Navy SEALS at the age of thirty. We then get the usual sequence of shots showing Kyle being put through the tough SEAL training regime. These guys are tough and don't we know it, when they have a break from the relentless training they go to the local bar and play darts using one of the SEALS back as a dart board. It's during the visit to the bar that Kyle falls in love and eventually marries Taya (Sienna Miller), the one steady rock in his nomadic life.

Kyle's training is no sooner finished when the tragedy of 9/11 happens and he's whisked off to Fallujah in Iraq. His job as a sniper is to watch over the grunts on the ground, a sort of guardian angel he sits on the roof tops picking off the enemy before they get a chance to harm his men.

His first target, a mother and child who are out to blow up a group of US soldiers with a Russian grenade, shows us that this is no ordinary war and that the enemy could be anyone.

Kyle’s accuracy and ability quickly earns him the status of Legend amongst the soldiers, he even joins them clearing houses, a job that's known as the worst in Iraq as the odds of being killed or injured are extremely high. It's during one such door-to-door exercise that Kyle and his team are charged with tracking down Fallujah’s most evil henchman known as "The Butcher".

In between tours of duty, when Kyle returns home to his family, Eastwood shows the stress that such a horrific job places on the nerves of a normal man.

Eastwood gives us a film that plays out like a western from his own early career, his world, and Kyle's is a place where people are either good or evil, the evil ones being the Iraqis, every Iraqi that we see is out to kill a US soldier, in one scene where soldiers are trapped on the roof of a building and hordes of heavily armed Iraqis descend on them plays out like a scene from John Wayne’s “The Alamo”.

The scenes in Fallujah are without doubt nail bitingly tense and there's no shortage of action to keep the target (no pun intended) audience happy. American Sniper is easily Eastwood's best film for some time and if you’re a fan of The Hurt Locker, which had a similar theme, then you won't be disappointed.




American Sniper (15)


Director: Clint Eastwood

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller

UK Release: Friday 16th January 2015


www.americansnipers.org/