Directed By: Clint Eastwood
Written By: Jason Hall
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller
Based on the Book: American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History (2012) – By: Chris Kyle with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice
I’m a few months late on this, but I saw the film last night and thought it was amazing! Let me first remind you that, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m the granddaughter of a late World War II Veteran, and the daughter of a Vietnam Veteran (who passed away a week and a half ago). Yesterday, my father’s ashes were brought back home, so my mother, brother and I decided we would watch this film he desperately wanted to see.
With that being said, I really did enjoy this one! Bradley Cooper is an incredible actor, and he portrays Chris Kyle perfectly. The film starts with a flashback to how Chris Kyle was raised in Texas, and how tough he was from the start. You get to see him grow a bit and turn into this brave young man, determined to protect his country. He develops a relationship with Taya, who he quickly marries. After becoming a U.S. Navy SEAL sniper, Kyle endures four tours in Iraq while Taya is home raising their two young children. In between tours, Kyle begins to experience PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), which puts a strain on his marriage. Other soldiers refer to Kyle as “Legend” throughout the film due to his incredibly high kill count in Iraq. With an approximate count of over 160 kills, he is known as the most lethal sniper in U.S. Military History which, in addition to his protective qualities, earned him a considerable amount of respect among his peers.
Once their team is ambushed during a sandstorm, he calls Taya and tells her he’s ready to come home. He retires and his relationship with Taya and their children becomes an incredible one. He spends time with other veterans; some who are physically wounded and others who experience PTSD as he had. While out one day helping another veteran, that veteran snaps and shoots Kyle and his friend. The film ends with incredibly moving footage of thousands of people standing along the highway as Chris Kyle’s body is brought to the memorial service held at Cowboys Stadium.
Chris Kyle survived four brutal tours in Iraq, overcame pretty severe PTSD and was unexpectedly murdered by another veteran he was trying to help. If this isn’t a story that should open the eyes about veterans returning home and NEEDING psychological help with PTSD, I don’t know what is. Speaking from experience, anytime we went out to a restaurant with my father, he could never have his back to a door. His PTSD demanded that he have a clear view of the door and anyone who was entering. Soldiers can’t go to war, see the things they see and do the things they do, and then just get shipped back home to deal with the real world again with no help. Kyle left the U.S. Navy in 2009 and was killed in 2013, but he will always be thought of as a true American hero.
April 8, 1974 – February 2, 2013