Clint Eastwood’s filmography is a mixed bag of genres and intention, one that I haven’t spent much time with over the last ten years. I can’t help but feel that he is a real world representation of The Dark Knight adage of ‘Live long enough to see yourself become the villain’, but I was very much willing to give him and his recent output the benefit of the doubt. American Sniper held my attention and at no time was I bored. The action is directed in a classical manner that is works very well. Everyone gives interesting, controlled and charismatic performances. However, I could not accept the way it embraced a lie. American Sniper doesn’t give a damn about anything except for The Legend, a myth that it refuses to question or to ever let slip into a grey area. Every question raised is rhetorical, with no answer required or wanted. Eastwood has a smooth operator’s way with social issues, one that makes the audience feel like a protest has been raised without ever questioning the linkages and incidents that pulled us into the situation.
[Spoilers for American Sniper are included in the discussion ahead – Ed]