“American Sniper”: The Unexpected Movie of a Generation
I have always worried that the cinema experience was dying. With Netflix and Red Box becoming the standard way of watching films, I began to notice a steady decline of film lovers actually going to the theater to see a movie. With the exceptions of highly anticipated blockbusters such as “The Hunger Games“ or “The Hobbit” films, many original movies do not attract the same allure to physically get peoples’ behinds in those comfy seats that smell like butter and Red Vines.
However, this was not the case for the Chris Kyle biopic, “American Sniper.”
A quick look online and I saw on various social media sites that the movie was selling out for almost every showing. I quickly purchased tickets an hour in advance and was amazed when I walked into the packed theater filled with a boisterous crowd. My two friends and I had to split up because there were not three seats available together, two of us ending up in the seats so far up in the front that our necks began to hurt before we even sat down.
The lull of the excited conversations for the film mixed with the slurps of slushies and crunches of popcorn filled the theater with a liveliness that I haven’t witnessed for a long time. This buildup for the film could have easily been its downfall; however “American Sniper” lived up to the hype and surpassed my expectations.
Directed by the legendary Clint Eastwood, the movie starred Bradley Cooper as military sniper Chris Kyle and Sienna Miller as his wife, Taya. Both actors played their real-life roles perfectly, especially Cooper, who is currently one of the most underrated actors. He made the role of a Navy SEAL sniper seem relatable to the common man (or woman), giving insight to the emotion and distress that goes on inside a sniper’s head. Cooper was just nominated for his third Oscar in a row and I am personally hoping that he does not catch the Leonardo DiCaprio Oscar curse.
Besides great acting, Eastwood splendiferously blended scenes of terrifying action with scenes of intense emotional drama. The film is basically flawless, except for one tiny scene with an unbelievably fake baby being caressed as if it were a living thing.
However, what amazes me most about “American Sniper” is how popular the film has become with a variety of audiences. Having spoken with many attendees of the film, who all have differing views on gun control, war, violence and politics, everyone generally likes the movie. It is hard to deny that it is just a great story of an American citizen that had an unbelievable life. “American Sniper” is a special movie. The hype of the film may have brought people back to theaters, but the incredible American story in the film will make it one of the most influential films of my generation.