American Sniper

Published on January 17th, 2015

Grade: A+

If you live in North Texas odds are you know the name Chris Kyle. You probably know he wrote a book called American Sniper, and you probably have been tuned into the fact that there was a film being made about him. You probably are also very aware of the tragic and terrible ending to his story. But even though you already know how his story ends, I’m going to tell you exactly why you should be in the theater watching American Sniper as I type this.

American Sniper is the story of Navy Seal Chris Kyle, but it’s not just about him. It’s about his family, it’s about the war, and it’s about his fellow soldiers and the effects of war of their families as well. Just about everyone knows someone who has served in a branch of the military. But often times we don’t realize the toll it takes on their close loved ones, and we surely don’t always understand what is going on inside a soldiers head when they are off the battlefield.

For Kyle it’s very clearly illustrated. When he isn’t on the battlefield, he feels that he is an able body that could be saving lives, and yet he is at home not doing that. He didn’t consider himself a hero, even though he took out hundreds of enemy threats. Kills didn’t haunt him, the only thing that haunted him were the soldiers he couldn’t save. It’s clear war takes it’s toll on the soldier mentally more than physically.

Kyle is portrayed by Bradley Cooper on screen and Cooper bulked up quite a bit to fit the gigantic shoes of the most deadly sniper in U.S. Military History. At times it’s eerie how much he looks like Chris. He absolutely embodied his presence on screen, sometimes warm, sometimes stoic. The same thing goes for Sienna Miller as Taya Kyle. The casting on the project was fantastic and these two were solid in these lead roles.

Clint Eastwood who directed the film, turned out one of the best, most meaningful films of his entire career. This film actually went into production before the death of Chris, and when Kyle passed away, Eastwood knew just how much more important that made this story. How that film would be a legacy for Kyle’s two children. That it needed to be interesting, heartfelt, and tasteful all at the same time. American Sniper absolutely does “The Legend” justice.

The movie is flawless as far as I’m concerned. It’s one of the best films I’ve seen in a while. There is a nice balance of his four tours overseas as well as his time at home. Eastwood is able to keep a good pace and knows that for a soldier the time at war is always more interesting on screen than the struggles at home. Not necessarily more important, but more interesting.

Sometimes you find an extraordinary man who is willing to give everything he has for his country. Kyle was that man, and many of the men fighting beside him had the same mentality. Those men are the heroes that fight to keep us safe. They fight to keep the terrorist out of our country and to preserve the American way of life. They lay down their lives for country.

Ultimately Chris Kyle was an American Hero. But really why he wrote his book, why he wanted his story told, was because he wanted folks to understand what soldiers and their families go through. On the surface this film might tell the story of one truly amazing and heroic Texan, but really, Kyle wanted folks to see he is just another soldier. That war takes its toll on every single person has ever been deployed.

Chris Kyle died trying to help a fellow veteran with PTSD. Helping his fellow soldier till the very end. Clint Eastwood has created a great movie worthy of the Legacy of the most deadly American Sniper. This is a film that you will want to see in theaters and own when it comes out.

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