A lot of people have this kind of fantasy idea of war, where Arthur stands toe-to-toe with Lancelot and doesn’t draw his sword until he sees the whites of his eyes. The idea is that there is honor in facing an enemy and giving them a chance to kill you as you try to kill them. It was this kind of thinking that got a few million British killed in WWI when they bravely marched into German machine gun fire. Modern warfare is more about killing as many people as possible from as far away as possible. The A-bomb being the top of the line in hands clean warfare.
It’s impossible to think about American Sniper as just a movie about a war hero. The war he fights in is not a good war. The people he kills are seldom soldiers in the traditional sense of the word. And we are just shown random bits and pieces of Chris’s life.
The bulk of American Sniper sees Chris laying on rooftops picking off anyone that wanders into his crosshairs. He’s good at what he does. He’s so good that he has a hard time even imagining doing anything else. He goes on four tours and gets 160 official kills and the title of The Legend. The film is filled with people dropping like flies as Chris delivers kill shot after kill shot. The one truly dramatic moment sees Chris taking a second to think about whether or not he should pull the trigger.
In the finial scene Chris says goodbye to his wife before heading off to the range with another whacked out war vet. The closing credits are scenes of the real Chris Kyle’s funeral procession.
American Sniper proves again that Clint Eastwood is a great director and that Bradley Cooper is a pretty good actor. It also shows that our battle plans left a bit to be desired.
American Sniper amounts to another yellow ribbon with ‘I support the troops’ written on it.