An American Hero

Today I saw the 2nd of my trilogy of movies to see. This is the movie that has confounded the Hollywood insiders, breaking box office records. At the multiplex I attended they were showing it about every 3 hours. The parking lot had more cars than I had ever seen.

Unlike most movies based on actual figures, where you have to wonder how much is real and how much is “artistic license”, apparently according to Chris Kyle’s wife Taya, Bradley Cooper’s portrayal of Chris is spot on.

“And in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, the wife of the decorated sniper reveals the movie is more than a story, but a faithful rendering of the Legend’s life.

“I think they did a phenomenal job, honestly,” Taya Kyle told Hannity. “Of course, taking a person’s life and putting it into two hours, you have to condense some things and portray some things with the right sentiment and maybe not the exact verbiage. But honestly, even the words are probably accurate over a long period of time. … It could not be more spot on.”

4 tours of Iraq.

Over 1,000 days of combat. And a lot of Marines and soldiers alive because of him.

There is a lot I would like to say about the movie, but I don’t want to spoil it for you. I will say that his main motivation was saving the lives of his fellow combatants, and when he left Iraq he wanted to continue helping vets.
Since we all know how it ends, though, I can say that there probably wasn’t a dry eye in the theater.
American Sniper. If you see one movie in a year, this is the one.


Filed under Movie Review

4 responses to “An American Hero

  1. NaCly Dog

    Thanks for the review. I might break down and actually see this in a theater.

  2. Hi Bill. Went to Ipswich and saw “American Sniper” this Tuesday afternoon.
    I thought it was a great film, really well crafted. The finer attention to detail was all there. Although I was not military, as a former weapons training/operations bod I rather annoyingly tend to zoom in on minutiae (the right marker in the honour guard firing party had a misload, but they left it in as nobody would ever notice, which is how it would have been so nice one Clint).

    It was a remarkable story amongst remarkable stories and I think it will convey the fact that Chris Kyle was more than just an outstanding man who happened to write his own story – he would be the first to say that he was amongst many other outstanding men who did remarkable things in extraordinary circumstances. The moral dilemmas he faced through his `scope were really important facets of that work that ordinary people need to confront if they are to understand justification. That bit of the film really did rattle my own mental filing cabinet and I had an old dream re-visit me in the wee small hours later that night.

    This had personal touches that transcended the often `Hollywood` over-cliched anxious wives, children and sweethearts living in their bubble back home while the warriors do their dangerous stuff. It left you with an understanding of the horror that families have inflicted upon them and brings new meaning to the John Milton line, `they also serve who only stand and wait`.

    • Bill Brandt

      Nice write up HD – I too felt that they personified the families back home. They are some forgotten heroes. I think of Lex’s posts where he knew his wife had to do everything for the household while he was gone so much, and it gave him some anguish.

      I was interested in Kyle using a sat phone to “call home” – certainly a luxury not afforded most over there.

      And I thought the opening scene in Iraq – seeing a woman and boy – the small things that most of us would miss in their actions – “If I am wrong I will be in Leavenworth” (our military prison) all seemed to bring realism.

      I think it was a lot more than a “war movie” – his difficulty in adjusting being back home so soon after being in combat – the sounds that made him jump in the auto shop back home

      A good part of Hollywood cannot understand the phenomenal success of this movie – which means that a good part of Hollywood is disconnected from Middle America.

      I was heartened to read that this movie – and its success – really moved Kyle’s wife Taya

      Incidentally I think just as Bradley Cooper nailed the persona of Chris Kyle, Sienna Miller nailed Taya’s character

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