June 18, 2024

I took on this assignment of writing my opinion of “American Sniper,” thinking 500 words on the next great American movie since “Saving Private Ryan” or “Forrest Gump” would be a simple task. It is easy to watch these movies and feel patriotic and remember why we love this great nation. However, it is another scenario entirely to see what someone else does for your country — or for their country — out of the goodness of their heart that makes you appreciate the stars and bars just a little bit more, as well as those who are out there protecting it.

The story of Chris Kyle is an emotional roller coaster for anyone who has seen the film or is planning on seeing it. Kyle, who survived four tours in Iraq as a Navy Seal counter sniper, defending the boots on the ground, was sadly gunned down on American soil trying to rehabilitate a fellow American soldier dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. For him, this was a way of dealing with his own demons since returning home. The film shows the true dedication one man has to God, family and country, as before each deployment the camera will cut to a shot of Kyle packing a small Bible either in his suitcase or his bullet proof vest. Though that may be as far as the film may play into the God aspect of the militant moral code, the true theme of the movie lies within Kyle’s love for his family and country, and which one he may love more; it could be thought that his love for his family reaches over into his love for his country, and the threat to his country means a threat to his family.

Whether you are for or against the war, this movie extends far beyond any type of what could be considered as “military propaganda,” as Canadian Seth Rogen put it. The reputation of “true” military movies is that they have been known to over dramatize aspects at times. This film was directed by possibly one of the greatest Americans in Hollywood, Clint Eastwood, who has brought us movies such as “Flags of Our Fathers” and “Letters to Iwo Jima,” and was based on the book written by Kyle himself before his death.           

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