American Sniper (Trailer Review)

Here's yet another case for why the first trailer we see for any given film is often the best. Yes, sometimes they're more of a "teaser" than a trailer, but if that means giving less away and coming up with other methods to artfully sell us a movie on a premise and an actor, that's fine by me. Clint Eastwood looks to improve his 2014 track record (Jersey Boys was a bit of a mess) withAmerican Sniper. Based on the book by Chris Kyle, it recounts Kyle's own career as a Navy SEAL during which he earned the reputation as the deadliest sniper with over 150 confirmed kills.

This trailer pulls a game plan we're seeing more and more often. Namely, showing one specific scene in the film, letting it play out, and then adding flashes of other scenes in the last half. It's a simple formula, but it works well. We watch as Bradley Cooper (a most American choice, see below) nests on a rooftop and glasses over a few perspective targets, including a woman and a young child. It's unsettling and made all the more impactful when intercut with scenes of Kyle and his own family back home. Whether these are flashbacks or flash-forwards remains to be seen.

I got a strong Hurt Locker vibe while during the 1:50 trailer, and that's high praise coming from me. It's undoubtedly an influence on the film and it looks like it could become just as strong a character piece for Cooper as The Hurt Locker was for Jeremy Renner. The ugly lose-lose situation of wartime, particularly the complexities of modern warfare, look to be in full effect. Leave it to Eastwood, who masterfully wrangled a battle from both sides in the unparalleled depictions found in Flags of Our Fathers andLetters From Iwo Jima.

American Sniper will be in select theaters on Christmas Day, expanding nationwide on January 16th. To be completely honest, I had completely forgot about this film until I saw this trailer. But now it's one of my more anticipated films of the winter season. I guess you can say the trailer did it's job well. What do you make of our first look at the film, Cooper in front of the camera and Eastwood behind it? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Fun Fact: This is the Cooper's fourth film with "America" in the title after Wet Hot American SummerOlder Than America andAmerican Hustle.