American Sniper was filmed just months after Chris Kyle’s devastating death. Chris Kyle was named the most lethal sniper in American military history with well over 100 confirmed kills. Steven Spielberg was set to direct this film, but shortly after exiting, Clint Eastwood took over. Sources say that this is right up Eastwood’s ally being a war based film. While American Sniper lacks the moral aspect, it is known for it it phenomenal job with the effects all while having a gradual and spontaneous plot.
American Sniper tells the story of the most lethal sniper in US military history, who collected 160 confirmed kills defending other military men in Iraq. He is shot and killed in his own country by a veteran whom he was trying to help deal with overcoming post-traumatic stress disorder. Eastwood opens the film with Bradley Cooper, who is portraying Chris Kyle, hunched over a rooftop in Iraq overlooking a young boy and girl who appeared to have a bomb. The Washington Post illustrates how Eastwood simply tells the story of the military legend Chris Kyle rather than having a moral aspect behind the film. After the opening scene, Eastwood abruptly flashes back to Kyle’s Texas childhood, discovering him as a skilled shooter at a young age as well as a being a brave protector.
The film continues with telling the story of how Kyle became the most lethal sniper in history. The Washington Post declares that Eastwood was more focused on telling the story rather than having a moral lesson behind it. Many sources say that viewers did not particularly care about having a lesson but cared overall of Kyle’s life as a sniper. Aside from the moral aspect, Eastwood allows each viewer to feel suspense throughout the entire film. He also has added in details that many viewers wouldn’t know until reading reviews for American Sniper. American Sniper was set in a sandy run-down village in Iraq for the most part. The setting of this film had a significant impact on the story as a whole.
The actors that Eastwood chose to portray Iraqi village members, Taliban members, and terrorist made the film very suspenseful and action-packed. The sandstorm that occurred at the end of the film brought on a sharp turn of events for the soldier. Variety author Justin Chang stated that this lead most viewers to believe Chris Kyle would not make it out alive. Constantly changing scenes from his peaceful home in Texas where his wife and children were, to the bloody and deadly overseas battlefield, caused the movie to remain very spontaneous. Another aspect of the movie that played a role in the plot was the hiring of real trained Navy SEAL, Kevin “Dauber” Lacz.
Hollywood Reporter reveals that Lacz served two combat deployments in Iraq and was originally only on set to help Cooper look and act like he was a real SEAL. Eastwood believed that hiring an actual SEAL, who fought with Kyle, would allow for more suspense during the film. Hiring Lacz to perform in American Sniper was also very risky because he had never acted in a film before now. Eastwood hired because his experience allowed the film to attract the more real aspect.
**** STILL WORKING*** Whenever possible, Eastwood hired people with military backgrounds to help with making the film look as real as possible. Since there were multiple dangerous weapons used in American Sniper, everyone was put through weapon training. Variety explains how military advisers directed two boot camps. James Dever was a senior military technical adviser, and cast member Kevin Lacz were also there to answer any questions other cast members had.Overall, American Sniper had an incredibly well thought out plot. It began with Kyle on the rooftop in Iraq, but very quickly flashed back to when Kyle was younger and progressed from that scene. It told the story of the legend Chris Kyle in such an honoring way. Rather than having the deadly shooting in the ending scene Kyle’s wife, Taya, begged Eastwood to cut the scene because she did not want her children to remember their dad in that way.
Director Clint Eastwood was then forced to make another ending scene, so he came up with adding in real life footage of his funeral and an explanation of what happened at the gun range that day. Even though the film did not necessarily have a moral aspect to it, the special effects and the gradual well-established plot was enough not to trouble the missing moral lesson.