So I finally got to see American Sniper on Friday (I have an awesome wife: she took me for Valentine’s day). A lot of ink has been spilled, and a lot of pixels lit about this movie, so there’s not a lot I can add. But I do think there’s one thing- a something at the back of all the hate on one side, and love on the other, for this movie.
This is an exceedingly American movie. Heck, you could almost imagine it was John Wayne playing Chris Kyle. Okay, Bradley Cooper is a better actor than John Wayne really was (no offense to the Duke, but he cycled through about 3 characters), but the point stands. This wasn’t a “war movie,” it was a warrior movie. This was not about a soldier in Iraq. It was about a soldier in Iraq. And at home.
I think this is simultaneously what repels the Left and draws the Right. Chris Kyle is not portrayed as a good man. He is not some D&D Paladin. He is not Galahad. If anything he is Lancelot. And I think he’s more Gawain.
There were more “fucks” in the first ten minutes of the movie than I think I’ve heard in a year. Kyle is portrayed as the worst kind of cowboy (early on, at least), and later his violent nature overcomes him at a family picnic. No, Chris Kyle was not portrayed as a good man. He was, however, absolutely portrayed as a man on the side of Good.
It was clear in the movie, and is even more so in the book, that Chris Kyle took threats to his fellow servicemen, and to his country, very personally. He was a hero in every sense that mattered. And the Left hates the movie for it.
To the Left it lacks “nuance.” It lacks “even handedness.” It is “black and white.”
To the Right it lacks nuance, even handedness, and it is black and white.
In many both sides are separated by a common sense of the movie.