Over the weekend I got to check out American Sniper, a film directed by Clint Eastwood starring Bradley Cooper, which is based on the autobiography of the same name written by Chris Kyle, who has been declared the most lethal military sniper in U.S. history. The film managed to shatter box office records when it brought in an estimated $105 million during its nationwide opening. However, not everyone seems to have enjoyed the film. There seem to be quite a few people rather upset about the portrayal of Chris Kyle as a “war hero.” There seem to be quite a few people upset about some of the words and language Kyle used to describe his targets. There seem to be quite a few people that have their panties in a bunch.
Michael Moore, leftist filmmaker and lifetime Humpty Dumpty stunt double, blasted the film via Twitter, and claimed that snipers are cowards because his uncle got shot in the back by one during World War II, and that our soldiers were “invaders.” I guess nobody should be surprised Michael Moore would make comments on the film; although I think it’s kind of sickening that he made implications against our troops. I’ve always been of the opinion that whether you agree with the executive branch’s decision to deploy our soldiers or not, you should respect the soldiers themselves. You can argue all day whether or not we “belong” in a war, but I think once you start bashing the troops, you’re kind of a shitty human being. Michael Moore didn’t serve in the military. I don’t serve in the military. These men and women volunteer to lay down their lives for this country and it’s my opinion that the man’s opinions are in poor taste.
Seth Rogen, whom recently starred in another controversial film that was released recently, The Interview, also made a comment about how American Sniper reminds him of the Nazi Propaganda film they show towards the end of the Tarantino hit Inglorious Basterds. In this regard, however, I don’t think Rogen was saying it to be a dick, despite the presentation he was. It’s just a poor taste joke, and I enjoy my poor taste just fine. Besides, he’s Canadian anyway, so his comment should barely even register on the radar as harmful. At least he has the decency to make a joke comment without SHITTING ALL OVER THE TROOPS like Michael Moore, who actually IS an American, did. I almost feel bad mentioning the two comments in the same breath because despite them both getting press, I believe both to be used in entirely different contexts.
Still I wonder why the hell there’s so much controversy over this film when people can just use common sense by watching a preview or looking in the credits.
The first sign this wasn’t going to be a liberal film is the fact Clint Eastwood directed it. Clint Eastwood’s entire body of work speaks for itself. His time in the military is well-documented. His support for the troops is well-known. Eastwood, in my opinion, is one of the last few MEN involved in Hollywood who doesn't have a visible panty-line. When you saw Eastwood’s name on the movie you knew this wasn’t going to be sunshine and roses and rainbows and lollipops. It was going to be serious. It was going to be gritty. And it was going to paint Chris Kyle in a positive light – it doesn’t matter if you agree personally with the reasons of the war or not because you KNEW what this film was going to be – so why piss and moan about it being offensive? If the content is offensive to your morality, just don’t go see the movie. Although, it really should not be considered offensive at all.
Secondly, this movie, if you bother to see it, is about the life and the struggles of Chris Kyle. It’s not just a “hey here’s a sniper shooting people” movie. As you progress throughout the film you see what Chris Kyle gave up to go to war, something not many of us would want to do. You see the strain it puts on his family, his relationships, even his sanity as we see his issues with PTSD come to light in the film as well. You see him make friends with his fellow soldiers, many of whom die right in front of him. I can’t imagine living with that. I can’t imagine what that would do to me inside. There are powerful statements made throughout the film. It’s not just a “hey let’s shoot some brown people” film. I feel like Eastwood captured a lot of high tension and high emotion that comes with what these men and women do.
As far as the term “savages” and its use in the film – who really sits there and worries about the word savages? Since 2014 it seems “savages” has become the new word people try to turn into a dirty one. To me if you act as a “savage” it means you are uncivilized. It has nothing to do with race whatsoever to me to begin with. He wasn’t shooting Arab Americans. He wasn’t shooting people for sport. This wasn’t Duck Hunt. These were terrorists. There are even scenes which show what these terrorists were doing to their own people. Take race out of it. Be objective. These were simply bad guys. Evil human beings.
9/11 was a horrible attack on U.S. soil and let’s be completely honest – if you live in this country and you didn’t feel like the people responsible were savages and inhuman afterwards, you’re probably way more fucked up than any of us. The war on terror: make no mistake, it was (and still is) a war. And there’s no such thing as a “polite war.” In war our troops haven’t had flattering comments for the British, the Germans, the Japanese, the Vietnamese, or the population of the Middle East – and I would never expect our troops to. There’s this whole mentality that “they’re people too!” I’ve never been to war in my life, and I am fortunate for that. However, I also know enough to know you can’t think “they’re people too” of your enemies. Because if you hesitate you are DEAD. We can’t judge Chris Kyle, because we’ve never BEEN THERE. We have the luxury of sitting on our asses at our computers, on our cellphones, generally being assholes online. We’ve never been in a situation like this. And it’s BECAUSE of those who volunteer their service that we’ve never had to be, so when I see blatant disrespect for those in uniform, I do find it disgusting because now not only do our armed forces (and even our police force but that’s another story for another day) have to deal with hostile treatment from their enemies, but now have to deal with hostile treatment at home by a bunch of people who couldn’t fathom the sacrifices they have made.
All in all, the reason I feel there should “be no controversy” is because I can’t imagine someone sitting through the film going “Oh that man is a sociopath,” “oh that man is a monster.” If you honestly think that, maybe YOU should go over to the Middle East, chill with the people he was shooting at and see how well they treat you. I have all the respect in the world for our armed forces – and truthfully after seeing American Sniper I have even more respect for them and the sacrifices they have made for us all – even you ungrateful people who are sitting there whining about how the film “wasn’t sensitive enough.”
To those who are angry about American Sniper: it’s probably not for you. Go watch Selma, then go fuck yourselves. Thanks.
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