American Sniper USA 2014 – 132min.
The United States, pre-September 11th. Texas-born and raised by a strict father, rodeo cowboy Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) decides to make sense of his life by defending his country against a new enemy. His eagle eye makes him a Navy SEAL sharpshooter and legendary for having killed hundreds of enemy soldiers in Iraq. But far from the war, Chris Kyle has a wife, two kids and an existence that has not survived his patriotism.
There are two ways of seeing American Sniper. Like the return of Clint Eastwood after his foray into bad movies with Jersey Boys, J. Edgar and Hereafter, or as confirmation that at 84, the Hollywood legend with four Oscars is definitely on his way down. In this adaptation of the autobiography by Chris Kyle, the filmmaker shows his undeniable expertise in technique and narrative in the service of a classic American story in which an almost ordinary hero is torn between family and country. But unfortunately, deprived of the melodrama he put well to use in Million Dollar Baby and Grand Torino, Eastwood gets bogged down in a story with no real intensity that trespasses unhappily on the terrain of Kathryn Bigelow’s Hurt Locker. Producer and star Bradley Cooper, who tried unsuccessfully to hire Steven Spielberg, manages to come out quite well. His third consecutive Oscar nomination at least confirms the spectacular dimension of his Hollywood career.