“American Sniper” shoots its way to number one

Ryan Blake, Staff Writer

Movie: “American Sniper”

Opinion: 7.5/10 Good, but could have been much better.

A “Must See?”: Yes, but do not expect the ‘greatest movie ever.’

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The United States of America, the place of opportunity, the land of the free and home of the brave, where countless brave souls give their lives everyday to protect the freedom of their land. One of these great men was a SEAL Team Sniper known as Chris Kyle, the record holder for most confirmed kills in battle. Kyle served four tours in Iraq in order to keep his wife and children at home safe.

Based on the autobiography with the same name, American Sniper, takes a first hand look at the incredible journey of Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper). Kyle is brought up in the world by a stern father who teaches the ideals of protecting those in need. At an early point in the film, Kyle’s dad talks at the dinner table with both of his sons about being a sheep, shepherd or a wolf. He teaches that his sons will be the shepherds – protecting his flock. After bouncing around as bull riders, both witness the events of 9/11. At that point, Kyle and his younger brother, Jeff (Keir O’Donnell,) enlist in the military together in order to protect their country.

Despite his grueling SEAL training, Kyle manages to find a bombshell of a bride in a southern belle named Taya (Sienna Miller.) The two fall in love and get married only weeks before Kyle’s first tour of Iraq.

The movie is not solely about the Iraq war, but more so about the effects of it; because of the war, thousands of veterans are stricken with wounds, both physically and mentally. American Sniper deals with Chris Kyle’s constant battle with PTSD and being able to cope with everyday life. With personal relationships dwindling and friends decimating, Kyle continues to go back to Iraq for three more tours in order to do his civic duty as an American. The question remains: how long will he be able to keep this up until it all catches up with him?

I enjoyed the movie, but military-influenced movies are a bit of a bias for me. Anything depicting the courage of real individuals fascinates me. Aside from my personal interest in the genre, the workings of the film were great as well. With exception to a painfully fake baby (you will know it when you see it), the acting in the movie was very well done and genuinely believable. The movie is a good balance of action and story and seems to have a very appropriate run time.

American Sniper hit box-office highs in its opening weekend – audiences around North America piled into the cinemas to witness the story and racked up over $100 million in ticket sales. Clint Eastwood took Chris Kyle’s book and turned it into something pretty fantastic, all while shining a new light on the plight of veterans.

 

 

 

Feature Photo credit to: http://tucson.com/american-sniper-cover/image_78c9cf02-8a6c-11e4-953e-7fd105262abe.html