American Sniper: Heartbreaking and Brave

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In “American Sniper,” Bradley Cooper is Chris Kyle, the real-life Navy SEAL described as “the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history” for his record 160 confirmed “kills.”

Meticulous and passionate about his work, Kyle peers through the lens of his rifle, makes adjustments to the focus and framing, and decides who within each scenario he sees in front of him should live or die. He calls the shots… precisely.

Kyle’s novel, also called “American Sniper,” and the base of the film, introduces its title killer as a proud Texan, patriot, husband and father. Kyle never questions his love of America (“It’s the greatest country on Earth and I’d do everything I can to protect it”) or his belief in the rightness of the U.S. military mission in Iraq, even as his wife, Taya (Sienna Miller), became increasingly unsupportive and uncertainKyle, on the other hand, insists he must travel to another continent to protect his military family rather then protect his family that wants him at home.

Chris Kyle is played with rugged determination by Bradley Cooper, who went as far as to perfect Kyle’s southern accent. I must admit, I may be a little biased because I am a huge Bradley Cooper fan, but I was in awe of his performance. You can tell how much heart and soul he put into making sure he portrayed Kyle from head to toe.

The action in “American Sniper” is riveting and breathless, and the film’s director, Clint Eastwood, clearly regards Kyle as a true hero. The ending of this film to me was of most importance since Kyle lost his life in 2013, while mentoring a veteran with PTSD. Eastwood ended the movie tastefully and the raw footage of Kyle’s funeral really hit home.

Now amid all the hype and buzz of Kyle’s book and the films record-breaking opening weekend at the box office, there is a lot of criticism about Kyle and his story. But what many people have not taken the time to realize is that Chris Kyle is a human being just like you and me. He may have made a few mistakes along the way, like putting his country before his family more times than not, but he served his country with honor and he wasn’t given the nickname “The Legend” for nothing.

Rest in Peace Chris Kyle… Thank you for your service and fighting for our country!

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