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All gun guys and most Americans, except perhaps for a few off-the-grid survivalists shivering in a dugout somewhere west of Des Moines, already know that the American Sniper is based on the exploits of Chris Kyle, the “most deadly sniper in American military history.” The same people also know how Chris Kyle’s story ended prematurely and violently at a Chalk Mountain shooting range, where he was gunned down by a man he was trying to help even though they hardly knew each other. American Sniper focuses on the rest of Chris Kyle’s story, taking 132 minutes to demonstrate, very graphically at times, that Gen. Sherman had a knack for understatement . . .

Be forewarned. Viewers who expect Director Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper to be a gung-ho war movie are going to be disappointed as they were on their first blind date. Yes, there’s plenty of action, and the ultimate firefight scene is particularly intense. But, as evidenced by “Flags of Our Fathers,” “Letters from Iwo Jima” and even “Gran Torino,” lately Eastwood is far more interested in depicting the effect of war on fighters than he is about glorifying the effect of fighters on war. Kyle’s battles in Ramadi and Sadr City only set the stage for the bigger battle in his mind and spirit.

Likewise, any previous expectations that this film would be a well-researched factual retelling of Kyle’s story were wildly misplaced. American Sniper is a work of fiction “based on” Kyle’s life, with many key scenes and plot devices being completely invented by a writer with more imagination than talent. Because war isn’t exciting enough for a silly auteur who has never been in one, and Hollywood never lets the truth get in the way of product placement or selling an extra matinee ticket.

Thanks to the writer (Oscar nominated!), the errors in American Sniper are more numerous than Chris Kyle’s confirmed kills. The anti-insurgency tactics represented in the movie are often dangerously wrong, with Marines spending more time pointing rifles at each other when entering a room than scanning it. The “Enemy at the Gates”-like duel to the death between Kyle and an enemy super-duper-delux-sniper called “Mustafa” – not to be confused with the fat waiter in Ratatouille – never happened in real life. It’s as phony as any Brian Williams tale of terror.

Kyle was not 30, the “old man” as claimed in this film, when he took his BUD/S training. Kyle did not call his wife during the heat of an intense firefight while his guys were getting blasted by all the militants on two continents. Kyle did not enlist because of 9/11; he claimed that he always wanted to be in the military and joined after too many rodeo broncs busted him instead of the other way around. The list goes on and on.


American Sniper has proven to be controversial in other ways as well. Pernicious horsefly Michael Moore, the under-talented and overstuffed Seth Rogen and the eternally smug and bitchy Bill Maher have all had their shots at Eastwood and Kyle. Their comments, like the general braying by jackasses on the hard left and the hand-wringing of metrosexual tools, are uninteresting. In fact, they are only worth mentioning because they illustrate the depths to which Beta males will sink in order to trash men with an Alpha image – especially when one of the Alphas is 84 and the other is conveniently dead.

Much has been made of Kyle referring to enemy insurgents as “savages.” I suppose he should have called them “good chaps” or something nicer, but I imagine that the savages had a few harsh words for Kyle, too. That’s war. It seems that people who want to complain about all the killing and stuff in this movie would probably find “Fifty Shades of Grey” more to their taste.


Audiences made up of real people have a somewhat different slant on American Sniper, and that’s what literally counts. Filmgoers have lined up, shelling out big bucks to see it, not only in the US where it strikes a patriotic chord, but also abroad. The film has brought in about $350 million worldwide through the first week of February, boosting an industry that last year saw ticket sales underperform like an arthritic contortionist. If Rin Tin Tin was the dog that saved Hollywood, then Chris Kyle may go down in history as the SEAL who saved Hollywood’s ass.

Then there’s the script. Aside from many obvious unforced errors, the script had its moments, such as when Kyle told his shrink, “I’m willing to meet my Creator and answer for every shot that I took.” Then Kyle said that he wanted to save his guys and regretted only that he didn’t save more. The doctor reminded him that the hospital they were in was “full of men who need saving.” Good stuff. Still, moments of depth and clarity in the writing are as few and far between as thousand yard head shots, and nobody will be comparing the dialog to “A Man for All Seasons.”


It’s the acting that carries American Sniper, starting with Oscar-nominated Bradley Cooper. He turns in a nuanced and ultimately admiring portrait of a man suffering from the survivor’s guilt, the loss of comrades in arms and a bit of a pot belly starting to push against his Under Armor. When Cooper tells Sienna Miller, as Kyle’s wife, “I’m ready to come home baby,” he does more with those six words of dialog than Seth Rogen might do with six pages. As anyone who saw “This is the End” or “The Green Hornet” can attest.

Cooper became Chris Kyle, doing everything he could to get into Kyle’s head except boinking his widow and paying his kids’ college tuition. Cooper trained with a voice coach to perfectly imitate Kyle’s smooth Texas drawl, and hit the weights and the buffet table so hard he gained 40 pounds of bulky muscle. There’s a scene where Cooper, as Kyle, deadlifts 425 pounds in the weight room. That scene wasn’t faked.

Cooper also learned to shoot with Kyle’s favored tools of the trade. Although he jerked the trigger on a few shots, Cooper nevertheless looked like a competent rifleman who could deal death at 600 yards. Or at least ring steel. He also wore Kyle’s shoes. No, really. I wouldn’t wear a dead man’s belt, but he wore a dead man’s shoes. Now that’s dedication.


Sienna Miller, who was not Oscar-nominated but should have been, turned in a luminescent performance as the oft-neglected Taya Kyle. Nobody does agony better than Miller, and Taya Kyle had plenty of that. Funny and flirtatious, Miller managed to look smoking hot while wearing a pregnancy prosthetic that made her seem about as gravid as a woman can get without her navel popping out like a turkey thermometer.

American Sniper co-stars some good supporting actors and some fine shooting irons. No disrespect to the actors, but the guns deserved higher billing.

The Guns of American Sniper

Chris Kyle used a McMillan TAC-338 to become “Al-Shaitan Ramad,” the Devil of Ramadi, with a price on his head (like all snipers in the sandbox). Cooper used a TAC-338A in the film, which is close enough for Hollywood work. The TAC-338A was equipped with a Leupold Mark 4 scope that Cooper seemed to fiddle with a bit too much when he was on overwatch, scanning for insurgents, lining up head shots and having phone sex with Sienna Miller. No, I’m not making up the last part. Fortunately, that’s when the Tangos chose to attack, sparing Cooper the ignominy of having to rock the Kasbah right there on the big screen.


Cooper had more guns than Neo. For house clearing, he chose a Knight’s Armament SR-25, equipped with a bipod and scope. And who wouldn’t? He also seemed fond of his MK 18 CQB carbine.

There can be little doubt that Kyle’s Marine buddies were terribly envious as they cleared rooms with their measly M16A4s, EOTech sights, IR designators and M203 grenade launchers. And an M249 SAW.

Oh, and one of Cooper’s fellow SEALs cheerfully lugged a Mark 48 LWMG with bipod and ACOG from room to room. Because every SEAL wants to schlep 25 pounds of iron, brass and lead in close quarters.

It seems that most of the small arms, machine guns and electric cannons in the US inventory were proudly displayed in American Sniper. Yes, but the enemy was also well-armed.


Mustafa used an FPK/PSL and an SVD Dragunov to kill Americans with head shots from 1000 yards or more. Mustafa’s insurgent buddies were equipped with the usual complement of AKMS and AKM assault rifles. An RPG-7 played a prominent role in the hands of a young boy who Cooper (and Kyle) really, really did not want to shoot. And every young Iraqi boy’s favorite plaything, a RKG-3 anti-tank grenade, precipitated Cooper’s first movie sniping – although that incident never actually occurred.


American Sniper owes much to “The Hurt Locker,” Director Katherine Bigelow’s take on a sergeant in a bomb disposal unit who missed the battlefield more than his child or his woman. THL was the lowest grossing Best Picture winner in Oscar history, so it had to be good.

American Sniper is a good movie that has fed the need of average Americans for some patriotism in their lives, since they’re not getting it from Washington. Still, it’s worth noting that there is nothing jingoistic about the film. American Sniper excited viewers when it had to and plucked their heartstrings too. I saw the movie on a snowy afternoon when I expected the theater to be almost empty because the smart people would be home roasting their chestnuts. But no. People are still coming out in droves. At the end of the movie, most of the paying customers applauded. I didn’t because I was too busy feeling sad.

Yes, sad. Chris Kyle survived four tours, spending over 1000 days in combat. He survived gunshots, IED attacks and two helo crashes. Kyle earned two Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars, and the honorific “Legend” from his fellow SEALs and the Marines he protected. He made a 2100 yard shot to stop an insurgent who was about to launch an RPG at his “boys,” as he called them. He survived all that, just to die back home in Texas and have his service belittled by people who aren’t fit to sniff his shoes, much less wear them.


Model: American Sniper
Caliber: .338 Lapua Magnum
Length: 132 minutes
Action: The final shootout is intense and absolutely gripping
Finish: Heart-breaking
Price: $58 million (est.)

RATINGS (out of five bullets):

Style * * * *
The action proceeds in fits and starts, the photography is workmanlike and the story engrossing despite the weak script. Miller is gorgeous, Cooper is studly, but aside from those two, the characters are poorly defined even though they are mostly well-played.

Reliability * * * 1/2
The story is highly fictionalized and departs from Kyle’s book in many respects. The main plot device – the faux Kyle vs. Mustafa duel – was “borrowed” from “Enemy at the Gates,” from the true story of Carlos Hathcock’s legendary exchange with Cobra, a North Vietnamese sniper sent to kill him, and other factual episodes of sniper on sniper shootouts throughout history.

Despite its obvious flaws, American Sniper is a deeply touching movie because of its sad, true-life ending.


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    • I believe you’re correct.

      I recall the scene where he and his brother were watching the news when a US Embassy was bombed in the late 90’s, and that served as the impetus for his enlistment.

      Later, he walked into the living room to see Taya staring at their TV screen watching the WTC fall, and that’s when he was deployed.

    • In the movie at least, Taya called him into the living room to see 9/11 on the TV. He was already a SEAL at that point. The movie had the African Embassy bombings as his motivation to join the military.

      August 7, 1998 – simultaneous truck bomb explosions at the embassies of the United States in two East African cities – Dar es Salaam and Nairobi.

      1999 – Chris Kyle joins the US Navy.

      Since he was already a SEAL on 9/11, figure he underwent SEAL training in 2000, which would have made him 26, which is probably a little older than the average enlisted SEAL candidate, but not an old man.

      He joined the U.S. Navy in 1999

      • They upped the age because it would be hard for people to understand that 24 is old for starting a military career of any kind, let alone a SEAL. When I was in tech school, one of my classmates was 26, which seemed ancient. He might as well have been 45.

  1. I think…you just basically told me to buy the book, sir. Part of me *really* hoped something more was there but your description seems to suggest…entertainment always comes first.

    Because snipers…don’t duel. That…is screen writer silliness.

        • I read the book and skipped the movie period on “Lone Survivor” as I knew it was a better bet. The ghost writer flubbed far less than the movie had to have. I loved it.

    • Actually I’m pretty sure that Zaitsev really did (or at least said he really did) have a sort-of duel with a German sniper in WW2.

  2. Honestly, it wasn’t that great of a movie. It felt like a bunch of nonlinear scenes that were shot and slapped together…no real narrative or plot.

    Good acting and a semi-interesting story don’t always make for a great movie.

    • The whole point of the movie was to share and honor the life of Chris Kyle. How much more of a plot do you want?

      • Exactly, I wanted his life’s story, not some made up Hollywood crap that wasn’t half as interesting as his actual exploits. The work was already done by the man himself, they just needed to immortalize it in film. Alas, they failed at even that basic task.

        • People are viewing the film, and then telling their friends “see it!” That is what is driving sales. “The perfect,” they say, “is the enemy of the good.” I cannot imagine a more successful interpretation of the book that would work as a film. There have been, in truth, many movies involving some version of sniping. I can’t think of one which is more realistic or engaging than Eastwood’s version of American Sniper.

        • Larry, it is worth noting that in EATG Vassili is intentionally turned into a national hero in order to improve morale. The parallel to the public uses of Kyle’s story is obvious. “The more things change….”

    • Well to be fair, the book that the movie is supposed to be based off of is like that. A bit disjointed, which occurs because he talks about multiple deployments and almost switched back and forth between home and the battlefield on the fly. I much preferred the books “Lone Survivor” or “Sniper One” because of that.

    • Agreed it was just “OK” at best. Half or more of the movie is pure fiction. The book was much better.

      That said I am not sure what I believe about him anymore. He said some pretty outrageous stuff more than a few times about stuff that probably never happened. That for me at least brings into question the validity of everything in his book.

      Fury was a much better movie.

  3. A good movie that hopefully people will be interested enough in to read the real deal in the book.

    Also, the movie shows him interested in enlisting due to the embassy bombings in Africa, which predate 9/11 by a few years..

    • Also, the movie shows him interested in enlisting due to the embassy bombings in Africa, which predate 9/11 by a few years.

      Correct, but even that was made up. Kyle enlisted because he always wanted to be a fighter, not because of any particular event. When his rodeo career was over, he joined up.

      • I enjoyed reading this review. I saw the movie when it opened nation wide. I am very familiar with how Hollywood takes a true story and induces the wall of sound to what should already be a great product. Add to that I am a sucker for a true story no matter how boring. I love Apollo 13 only because that really happened man!
        So I went into this screening with the notion that the entire story was fiction. I didn’t want my affinity for non-fiction to influence my entertainment. Bottom line, as a stand alone movie, it played well. The only time I was snapped back to the reality that it was based on true events was the ending.
        Unlike the group at your viewing, my 95% full theater was dead silent when the credits rolled. Like you said, it was so sad. Only two people spoke as we filed out in a somber shuffle. One person cursed Jessie Ventura and another whispered “why is it so quiet?”

        • I saw it in a half empty thursday early evening showing. The “somber shuffle” is an excellent description of the ending there. It was eerie.

  4. No applauding at the theater I saw it in. Weird– no one left until the scenes of his funeral stopped during the ending credits. And it was dead quiet as everyone left, what little was said was said in whispers as everyone quietly filed out, I took it as a sign of respect…

  5. I don’t like the movie’s (and later Media) commentary that Kyle suffered from PTSD and that meant he was somehow ‘broken’.

    Purveyors of PTSD (in the media) are just attempting to find some way to say ‘Yes, the war was a win, but this is how you still didn’t’ (this is how you Lose) to which I give the one finger salute and FU – #NaCl.

    I think everyone that’s been over there is entitled to bring some apprehension back, and the rest of you better wake-up.

  6. Agree, great movie except for “Action: The final shootout is intense and absolutely gripping,” which should read “Action: The final shootout is intense and absolute bull manure.”

    This is yet another instance of Hollywood throwing away a great factual plot point in favor of a ridiculous fictional one. Kyle’s real decision to hang it all up near the end of his fourth deployment (according to his book) was a case of losing a couple of buddies, getting promoted to Chief (too much paperwork, not enough shooting), having gimpy knees due to being buried under a wall collapse, and — get this — getting hit twice in the space of two minutes. Both shots were stopped or deflected by his armor, of course, hence no purple hearts. However, this would have had potential for incredible comic relief: he briefly thought he had been blinded, but instead the shot had simply knocked his helmet askew, along with his night vision goggles. That could have been hysterically funny, especially coming as it does in the middle of a night firefight.

    Instead, we were treated to a totally over-the-top (in a bad way) Alamo-in-a-sandstorm sequence that looked every bit like a video game, which is probably where the script writer got it from. Oh well.

    All in all, despite my bitching about that one sequence (and the “enemy super sniper duel” gimmick), I totally loved the movie and am beyond happy that it is making big bucks and causing so much heartburn for the Hollywood lefties.

  7. “…the depths to which Beta males will sink in order to trash men with an Alpha image – especially when one of the Alphas is 84 and the other is conveniently dead.”

    The best line in the movie review among many good lines. Thanks for the review. Now, I know what I saw and at least some of the cinematic fabrications.

    Thanks Chris! RIP!

  8. It’s pretty sad how he was killed at the shooting range. When I lived in WV, there was a range there that a guy had been shot and killed at too by some tweaking deserters. It was still open and I shot there a lot. That murder and my awareness that these types of things can happen is why I keep good situational awareness at outdoor ranges.

    Realistically there isn’t much you can do if someone decides to shoot you in the back. Action>reaction. But now if I’m alone and people I get a bad feeling about or people who don’t seem to have normal shooting equipment pull up to a range I’m at in the middle of nowhere, I generally leave.

      • The two scvmbags who precipitated the now-famous “Miami FBI Shootout” got some of their hardware by driving out to the boonies where people practice shooting, killing them and stealing their guns and cars.

        Most of the formal outdoor ranges that I’ve visited had enough people around that I felt like an ambush was highly improbable. But informal ranges, like gravel pits etc. are scary.

    • There’s a PSA in there somewhere.

      Half of the biggest group kills on FBI agents were done by a-holes that killed lone shooters at ranges who then stole the guns and vehicles to commit crimes.

      Don’t shoot or drink alone.

      • Whoops, Joe, I didn’t see your comment until after I posted mine, which is basically the same thing. Matix and Platt ambushed at least two shooters that way, and probably more.

  9. Movies are, well, movies. They are stories we like to tell ourselves. So long as it isn’t wretched, some excess is to be expected and accepted.

  10. I had to laugh because this movie and the close ups of the “Remington Model 700” inscription on his rifle are the best PR the Big R has had in a long time, and it’s totally independent of them.

    I thought it was great movie, though Eastwood took many liberties. As the review said, Cooper was phenomenal.

    But yeah, the scope fiddling drove me nuts.

  11. I thought the movie, despite its faults, was straight up badass. The fact that it gave liberal progressive metrosexual wusses tissy fits is a feature, not bug.

    May the murderer of the Legend face justice – which certainly has not been swift.

    • What’s really ironic is that any well-made war movie (which this is, despite some liberties) is always at least somewhat anti-war. A war may be justified, but the fighting of it is always going to be pretty awful – look at the meatgrinder scenes on Omaha or Iwo Jima. I mean – look at the protrayel of the house clearance in Falujah – would you want to send your son or daughter to do that? OK, I have another 12 years before that could happen, but the thought of it breaks my heart, and now I understand how my parents felt when I enlisted (and how happy my Mom was when my Bosnia deployment was cancelled (and Bosnia was maybe 1% of the intensity of Iraq). i’d rather flatten a whole country from orbit then send one of my boys into that.

      • any well-made war movie . . . is always at least somewhat anti-war.

        “I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell.”

        Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman

        Any war movie that presents otherwise is nothing more than a propaganda film. Which American Sniper was not.

        • From ancient times, really, honest writers have been unable to look at war without confronting that fact. I can remember first reading Aeschylus’ The Persians and wondering, in awe, how a playwright, one who actually fought the Persians at Marathon (and perhaps Salamis), could insist on portraying sympathetically the suffering of Persian mothers, despite the completely unprovoked aggression in which their now-dead sons had taken part. War is hell. People die. Chance affects the outcomes. War cannot adequately be described: The reality is always worse than the descriptions.

          As for the ethical burden of soldiers (e.g. Kyle) versus the leaders, we only have to recall how the great warrior Achilles railed at Agamemnon, admitting openly that the soldiers in the end must do the bidding of the greedy egotistical rulers. Obviously. Nothing has changed.

          In our fat age in which even the most useless and unproductive person may eat well and get fast internet…it is no wonder that many wander about, deluded as to the nature of war, conflict, and the extraction of wealth and blood on the part of largely amoral elites. Kyle was not of the elites, in the political sense. He was a soldier, not a general.

  12. I really liked the film. For me, one of the key points of the movie is the message it sent from bedrock America to the chattering classes. $300 million plus for a film released in January? Hey, Hollywood and the leftist media – are you listening? All of their anti-American reviews were taken as a motive to see the film.

    And after watching the video from ISIS of burning the Jordanian pilot to death, I would say “savages” is far too kindly a term to describe the Islamic fundamentalists of the world.

  13. Anyone remember the army shooting range where they couldn’t hit man sized targets at 100 yards while shooting from a bipod?

    That made me laugh internally. “Aim small, miss small.” More like don’t even bother aiming.

    • Not just that one but others, I thought the worst part of the production was the depictions of those ranges, but I can tell you what was happening. The idea was that those were 1000 yard ranges, and for some reason using a target 100 yards away (at most-I thought it was closer to 50) was acceptable to the production crew. It REALLY looked stupid. I have some sympathy, I tried to take photos with a normal family camera of the targets at Camp Perry from 1000 yards, and the pictures, including the ones with the little camera’s full zoom, looked like landscapes, no targets visible, though there were around 60 of them lined up out there and each one was something like 8 feet across. They would have done better to cut from the rifles to the targets, rather than showing the rifles and targets together.

      • Sorry no sympathy, just poor understanding which lead to poor filming of those range scenes. It can be done. Some recent Tom Cruise movie, Jack Reacher?? had a range scene and it looked accurately depicted for the 500 or 600 yards they were trying to show.

  14. Didn’t see it. I won’t see it.

    I appreciate those who volunteer to serve in our military. I don’t appreciate our willingness to use them. I also hate that we seemingly try to set them up for failure more often than not these days.

    Regardless of the motivation the creators of this movie had, there is an air of idolization surrounding this movie. I don’t consider Kyle a hero. I have no problem with him, but he volunteered to do a job and was one of the best at his job. I respect anybody that serves, but that doesn’t mean they’re a hero. I can’t quite define what a hero is to me, but he doesn’t meet it.

    On a side note, I’m getting sick of the Hollywoodification of our special operations community. Most notably, the SEALs. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to know more about what our folks are up to in the world, but a movie isn’t accomplishing that. I still can’t believe “Act of Valor” is a thing.

    • So what DO you consider those who step up and offer to put their lives on the line to protect the lives of innocents, if not heros?

      What DO you call those who say “I am willing to fight and die for my country, for my family, and for those who are otherwise unable to protect themselves”?

      What DO you call those who come home from war, and dedicate their lives to helping those who were affected by it return to some sense of normalcy?

      • I guess the difference of opinion lies in whether you believe that the Iraq war, and the foolish foreign policy that pre empted it were in fact, done for America’s protection and achieved that goal. I do not.

        • Let me tell you something, then. What a bunch of politicians do or don’t do is so far removed from heroism that it makes your comment sound really ignorant. The movie (as reported here) was not particularly accurate. OTOH, the man won 2 Silver Stars, and the military does not hand those out like popcorn, he did something to deserve them, and that “something” would fit most people’s definition of heroism. Not so much as a Navy Cross or a Medal of Honor, but heroism nonetheless. He is touted as the greatest sniper, not the greatest hero, but that doesn’t mean he was not a hero at all.

        • @Jordan, Kyle did not make policy. Your argument — as valid as it may be — is with the politicians. You can support the troops without supporting the war.

          Vietnam War veterans still hate the lowlifes who spat on them and called them Baby-Killers. Don’t go there.

        • You do realize there is a difference between not supporting the war and hating the troops, right?

        • You do not (Jordan) because you forget your history lessons. We are not mercenaries, the WORLD, through the U.N. asked us to do it in 1991 (if Saddam didn’t uphold 13 U.N. resolutions, which he did not). If the WMD argument bothers you it’s only because you are stupid enough to need another reason, AND you forgot the WMD history lessons too.

          You have a (D) after your name, and it stands for damage stupid.

      • I think the most heroic thing kyle did was try to help fellow veterans work through there PTSD. As to his actions in Iraq…. I would say it’s complicated. I get his desire to protect his fellow soldiers, but I do not accept the line that America’s invasion of Iraq really protected Americans or their freedom. This is not meant to demonize people who sign up to serve at all. I think most do it with good intentions, but I also think politicians(who don’t serve and whose kids don’t either) send them all over the world with little thought, and as long as they say that the goal is to protect our freedom most Americans believe it, especially on the right, even though conservatives are so suspicious of government for everything else. This is a point of logical inconsistency. In short, I don’t want to waste the lives of good young men and women to the meat grinder that is war. I’m certainly not a pacifist, but I think people need to rethink what it really means to be threatened.

        • I know I’m wordy, but my beef is with politicians, and many Americans who have knee jerk reactions to either send troops in, or call them baby killers. These reactions have consequences and people will die.

        • “In our Country… one class of men makes war and leaves another to fight it out.”

          William Tecumseh Sherman

        • Naturally a government animal like Sherman would ignore the vast portion of the population who opposed Lincoln’s war, and that Lincoln brutally persecuted Northern factions opposed to his war by throwing them in prison or exiling them to the western states.

          The correct quote would be: “One class makes war, another class of dumb animals fight it, then the last class wishes the first two didn’t exist”.

        • What makes movies like this so profitable is blind national pride and blind praise of anybody that could feasibly call themselves an operator.

          I support supporting the troops. But more people should openly and outwardly support the troops while simultaneously demand accountability and restraint by those that deploy our soldiers.

          I won’t pay good money to go sit in a theater so I can be amongst some of the mind sets and attitudes that I’ve encountered from those that liked the movie.

        • Isn’t that the same guy who destroy the lives of thousands of civilians through burning, looting, and rape?

        • Y’know, Blaine, I’m beginning to suspect that you hate anybody who wore the uniform. Except maybe Bowe Bergdahl.

        • At least Bowe developed a conscience, unlike the war criminal Chris Kyle.

          But karma paid back Kyle in a deliciously ironic way. 🙂

          • Go away loser! I have not said one nice thing about Chris Kyle! I said I liked the movie based on it being fiction. As a matter of fact, after hearing a comment about Jessie Ventura after the movie, I researched the lawsuit. My belief is that Kyle lied about his skirmish with Ventura in order to spice up the book.
            So take your insensitive trash talking vile hate and shove it up your ass!

      • Russ, I would say you are projecting your own thoughts unto Kyle. I don’t know his real motivation for joining the military. I doubt you do.

        I didn’t know the man. Haven’t even read his book. From what I do know about him I’d say he’s respectable. Maybe extraordinary. My feelings on our foreign policy restrict any admiration of military members to how well they care for each other, innocents they come across, and just a smidge for fulfilling a necessary role that otherwise would be filled by draftees.

        I don’t call every man and woman in uniform a hero. There are an plenty of different motivations for signing on the dotted line. I don’t only assume the best of everybody. I’d call the majority of service members good citizens. Hero would be a much taller order.

      • They put their lives on the lines for politicians and those politicians desires, and not to defend anyone.

        The Iraq war was a total and utter farce. It was nothing a but a huge waste of American resources(blood, equipment and mountains of money). The results are as bad or worse than the Vietnam.

        Afghanistan was justified for maybe the first year. Even then we were not attacking those that had anything to do with 9/11, we were attacking the government for letting the 9/11 attackers train and base in that country. I think we should pounded their dicks into the dirt for the first year then left that place a broken hole in the ground. We DO/DID NOT need to be there for as long as we have been.

    • Act of Valor was more like a commercial, not a real war movie. Lone Survivor was much better, although I wish Marky Mark wasn’t in it. American Sniper was good, but could have been better. I didn’t realize they took so many liberties with it, and I wish they hadn’t. It’s not Full Metal Jacket or Paths of Glory, but it’s still good.

      • Act of Valor was a recruiting film. No, I’m not being colloquial. It was an actual recruiting film.

    • I agree with your post for the most part but I really do recommend seeing it. I only saw it because a teen I mentor wanted to see it(his mom thought it was okay), and it is left fairly ambiguous in terms of Kyle’s actions. Accurate to real events or not, I thought it was more like watching someone who was particularly skilled at a certain task live through some crummy circumstances. Focuses much more on the effects of war on individuals than any sense of hero worship. Of course I’ve heard completely different interpretations as well.

      Interesting to see my mentee’s(is that a word?) reaction at the end. He has talked about wanting to join the army, and it seemed like it was a bit sobering to him.

    • Gray05, I recommend reading the book, even if you don’t see the movie. I am about halfway through it and from what I can tell, Kyle didn’t see himself as a hero or anything special either. He had a lot of respect for the other branches and took risks to teach and help the Marine patrols do building searches and probably saved a number of lives that way. I expected that the movie would take some liberties, so out of respect for the man I’m reading the book first.

      • It’s very likely I’ll read the book. I read lone survivor but didn’t see the movie for similar reasons.

        I’ve read a few books by former special operations guys. It’s informative. The average person should know a lot more about what our elected officials ask our service members to do.

      • +1. The book reveals much more about the man. He sacrificed much to serve his country.

        “It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live”
        ~ Marcus Aurelius

  15. “hand-wringing of metrosexual tools” – delicious!
    “ticket sales underperform like an arthritic contortionist” – brilliant visual simile
    “without her navel popping out like a turkey thermometer” – funny, for visual and esoteric reasons

    **** 1/2

  16. Great write up, for the most part mirrors all of my reflections having seen this movie twice. I finished the book literally minutes before heading to the theater the first time. I’m very happy to see that America has responded to this movie by paying to see it, and hopefully the Kyle family is benefitting personally from the large box office take. But in general the movie was garbage compared to the book in regards to accuracy. But hey, many Americans that wouldn’t have given a crap otherwise now have a sense of what our service men and women experience. For that, there is only good.

  17. For me the reserved citizen soldier is much more admirable, no matter if he’s Chuck Mawhinney or Simo Hayha. At least the movie pissed off the right people though.

      • Have you even seen it? As Ralph mentioned, it has its “Hollywood” moments, but it doesn’t glorify anything. I think Eastwood said that the movie is about Kyle’s relationship with his family and how his service affected all of them. I think he could have done a better job of it. It felt like he was being a little too cautious because he didn’t want to offend certain people. As good as the movie was, I think it could have been a little more honest, more hard hitting. But still, those elements were there, so I’m not sure what you think was glorified in the movie.

        • It does glorify war, because Chris Kyle’s jerkoff father threatened both Eastwood and Cooper with physical violence if they didn’t hero-worship his dead murderer son.

          The laughable lines in the movie about wolves and sheepdogs (as if Kyle wasn’t the wolf) glorifies war. And if you read Chris Kyle’s book he reveled in his murderous ways.

        • Let’s console Blaine with a chorus of “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” and then go spit on a few veterans. Because they’re all murderers or something.

        • Alas, Chris Kyle openly admitted to shooting unarmed civilians in his book. Something the movie distorted and passed over to appease the warmongering crowd.

      • Ah! You didn’t read the book. He said nothing about shooting unarmed civilians in there. Don’t fall for all the made up smears people have spreading.

        Also, do you honestly think Kyle’s father was making an actual threat? lol

        • But he did. On page 79, he stated his ROE were to shoot every male he saw. The implication is that their combatant status was not a concern.

          Why do you worship a proud war criminal?

        • At a border station that had been abandoned by the Iraqis. It was highly unlikely that anyone approaching them would be just trying to sell Amway.

        • Wrong, in the book he said those were his RoE when the war started.

          Of course, such RoE would be considered criminal regardless of circumstance or location.

  18. Currently reading the book, also bought the memorial edition just to help out his widow. But it is more gushy than original book so only reading non-memorial edition. Suing a widow, congrats to Governor A-hole, must have teeny, tiny gonads to do that, considering your good reputation was thrash before you even left office.

    • “Suing a widow, congrats to Governor A-hole, must have teeny, tiny gonads to do that”

      Not nearly as tiny as the guy who had to spin a bunch of malicious B.S. lies that involved beating up an old man to make himself look like a badass and sell books. Also, Ventura didn’t sue a widow. Get your facts straight fanboy.

  19. I also saw it on a snowy day, opening day, and was surprised at how packed it was.

    I saw a couple of friends in a big ol’ line waiting to get in as I was leaving. Unreal.

    No applause in our bloated audience, total silence as those around me mulled it over.

    We knew it was fictionalized, but a good story, and great portrayal. Fine write-up, Ralph…

  20. All “FACTUAL” movies have flaws. The important thing is it told the story of a good man and a damn good SEAL. Enjoy.

  21. A lady near us said after the movie she felt like she’d been to a funeral.

    My favorite takeaway, though, was during the courtship scenes when his future lady called him a redneck, and he responded he wasn’t a redneck, he was a cowboy. She asked what was the difference, and he told her cowboys want to ride horses, and rednecks want to ride their cousins. I thought I would die.

    • The cowboy pre-enlistment parts of the movie were 21st century Hollywood caricatures of cowboys and Texans and pissed me off. The whole movie was tainted after that.

      I read the book two years ago and loved it.

      Finished it on a Friday night, woke up the next morning and he was dead.

      It was shocking, I felt like I knew him and his wife, and the drama of his murder and the murderer’s capture were playing out on the news within 30 miles of me.

      …but the movie, save the pongnant ending left a lot to be desired.

  22. It’s a movie (and a book) about the guy who basically loves killing, and joins the military to get his adrenaline fix doing just that, with some poorly cobbled together post hoc rationalizations as to why it makes him a good guy.

    • Unless he liked killing innocent people, it really is irrelevant. To the political Left, a soldier is supposed to at best, be ambivalent about killing the enemy and at worst, outright disdain it. To say that the enemy are a bunch of savages and that you enjoy killing said savages, really sticks in their craw.

      • Chris Kyle enjoyed killing innocent people. That’s why he gunned down little children who tried to pick up bits of wire he left as bait.

        • he gunned down little children who tried to pick up bits of wire he left as bait.

          First of all, it wasn’t bits of wire, it was candy. And secondly, that wasn’t Kyle in Iraq, that was you at the local schoolyard.

      • That’s precisely the point. He liked killing in general. He justified it by saying that he likes to kill “bad guys”, but 1) it’s still psychopathic to truly enjoy killing, and 2) his definition of “bad guys” is awfully broad. I mean, he pretty much all but admitted that he’d love to just kill Muslims in general, but doesn’t because he knows it won’t fly: “I don’t shoot people with Korans – I’d like to, but I don’t”.

        If this guy were a Muslim shooting in the other direction, the people here would consider him one of the fanatical jihadis.

  23. Your review is nicely done, Ralph. I enjoyed reading it.

    You’re too kind to Moore, Rogen, and Maher. . .

  24. Thanks, Ralph, for the link to Sherman’s letter to Atlanta. I’d never read that before. I remember my grandmother’s still bitter resentment about W.T. Sherman, nearly 100 years after the war ended. (But keep in mind, my older brother Robert had two middle names, “Edward Lee”.)

  25. I liked the movie. Was a bit disappointed it made stuff up for Hollywood purposes. The book itself is plenty exciting.

  26. Best review EVER. I had no real interest in going to the theater to see this. I go to the movies to escape(or a half-a##ed date with my actress wife). No I don’t agree with the endless mideast adventures but I also have a son who served and currently works for DOD. Apt descriptions of Fatboys Moore & Segal. I have a much lower opinion of maher. The lowest of the low…

  27. ” his service belittled by people who aren’t fit to sniff his shoes, much less wear them.”

    Tax payers and citizens have every right to belittle his service. He worked for us.

    “but I imagine that the savages had a few harsh words for Kyle, too. ”

    Just like the French Resistance and Russian Partisans had a few harsh words for SS snipers.

    Kyle invaded another nation and killed people defending their homes. He was no hero.

    • Al Qaeda in Iraq were from other countries, and they were torturing Iraqis to death, blowing up mosques, etc. Those guys are now ISIS.

      The more of them get shot the better, and faster please. Napalm would be more fitting though.

      • Hahaha, way to imbibe government propaganda. Most of the Iraqi resistance were Iraqi Sunnis who resented the Shia-led puppet government installed by the US. AQ didn’t even exist in Iraq until the US invasion.

        The people in the Iraqi resistance were far better people than Chris Kyle could ever hope to be.

        • From Kyle’s book: “Al-Anabar Province, the area that contained the city, was studded with insurgents of various forms. A lot were Iraqi mujahedeen, but there were also plenty of foreign nationals who were members of “al-Qaeda in Iraq” or other radical groups. The head of al-Qaeda in Iraq, “Sheikh Abdullah al-Janabi—had his headquarters in the city. A Jordanian who had fought with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, he was committed to killing Americans. (Despite numerous reports to the contrary, as far as is known, Sheikh Abdullah al-Janabi escaped from Fallujah and is still at large.)
          The insurgents were one-part terrorists, another-part criminal gangs. They would plant IEDs, kidnap officials and their families, attack American convoys, kill Iraqis who didn’t share their faith or politics—anything and everything they could think of. Fallujah had become their safe haven, an anti-capital of Iraq dedicated to overthrowing the interim government and preventing free elections.”

          The Sunni sheiks eventually came over to our side because AQ was so awful.

          The Sunni minority had been favored under Saddam, while the Shia and Kurds were massacred and kept in poverty. Remember, the US had had to fly the two No-fly zones everyday of the 12 years just to keep Saddam from genociding the Shia and Kurds.

          The “puppet government” was a vast improvement over Saddam.

        • “A lot were Iraqi mujahedeen”

          See, even the murderous Chris Kyle admits there was a significant homegrown resistance. As for “killing Americans”, the invader deserves to die. That is morally absolute.

          In regards to the Sunnis coming to our side, that was because of massive bribe payments made to the tribes. Note that the “Sons of Iraq”, aka the bribed Sunni tribes, promptly went to form the core of ISIS as soon as the US left. Now that’s a counter-insurgency success story!

          I’d have to say the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis would have preferred Saddam Hussein over the current mess. Heh.

        • Just like American soldiers were “murderers” when they invaded France and the Netherlands in WW2.

        • Ah, a product of US public schools, I see.

          In WW2 the US was responding to a Nazi invasion of France and Holland. In 2003, the Iraq war was a US invasion “justified” by WMD allegations which the UN disavowed and subsequently turned out to be false. And since the UN, not the US, was the signatory to the Gulf War ceasefire, they administer the terms. It was an illegal war of aggression.

          In short, the correct comparison to WW2 would make the US the belligerent party, same as Nazi Germany.

    • He was no hero.

      Kind of a straw man argument there. Neither Eastwood or I called Kyle a hero. And Kyle certainly never called himself a hero.

      As far as criticizing Kyle, I wouldn’t stop Moore, Rogen or Maher from doing so if I could, yet I still detest them, everything they stand for and everything they don’t. Which is my right, just as it is my right to say so. Or did you forget that their rights don’t trump mine?

      • Says the guy with no coherent response to criticism of Kyle or this movie, but instead resorts to pathetic ad hominem attacks and appeals to emotion to prop up a dreadful piece of propaganda glorifying a proud government mass murderer.

        Didn’t Eastwood threaten to murder Moore? Free speech, yo. 🙂

  28. “Cooper became Chris Kyle, doing everything he could to get into Kyle’s head except boinking his widow and paying his kids’ college tuition.”

    That’s a pretty wildly disrespectful thing to say about the woman of a man who died in such a senseless manner trying to help people. But to each his own.

      • Michael, some people have trouble reading. I think that SmuglySuperiorPosture hot linked here from Vox.

        • Yes. I’ve totally never commented on any other article before. Heaven forbid someone should think a passing joke about fucking a dead man’s wife for the purpose of being able to act more like him is off-color for a movie meant to honor the sacrifice he made. That makes me smug. But your wild (and ridiculously incorrect) assumptions about me are… noble? Awesome? Not smug in any way?

      • Well, you failed at that. I got bored half way through. I did see that you used an unhealthy amount of hero-worship.

        • I’m the hero you need, but not the one you deserve…

          @Carlos, I never understood the logical point of that argument. Unless you’re suggesting that an echo chamber is preferable to actually hearing a difference in opinions. In which case, have fun with that sheltered life.

          Excuse me: “Chris Kyle is literally Jesus with a sniper rifle and completely beyond reproach or criticism! The Iraq War was totally justified! If anyone disagrees, then they’re all evil liberal pinko commie muslim atheist homometrosexuals!”


        • Excuse me: “Chris Kyle is literally Jesus with a sniper rifle and completely beyond reproach or criticism!

          I don’t really have anything against Chris Kyle that I don’t have against any other soldier invading other people’s countries, but the above statement is absolutely on point. After this movie, Navy Seals and Chris Kyle are the reincarnation of Angels of heaven complete with halos. Don’t you dare say or think anything critical about the actions of these “heroes.” Look at all the metals they won! How can you say that?! Falls right in line with Chris Kyle’s colossal nationalistic pride:

          If Kyle had it his way every American would be saluting the flag and anyone not doing so would be reproached and punished accordingly. There is a difference between patriotism and nationalism. Maybe to Kyle – there is not.

  29. Nobody mentioned the blatantly obvious fake baby in the movie. Totally hilarious fake rubber baby.

    • “Nobody mentioned the blatantly obvious fake baby in the movie.”

      Those with experience with the real ones sometimes wish they were the fake ones…

  30. I guess you gotta watch it if your a patriot because veterans. Its just attempting to tap into that patriot homage instead of actually telling a story. Its not worth my time or money. If they wanted to strike my patriotic femur they should’ve made a documentary of how horribly the VA is treating our vets here at home.

  31. Clint is not much of a film maker in my opinion, I like his Spaghetti Westerns and a couple Dirty Harry movies… But that is his acting. Outlaw Josey Wales might be the only film of his direction that I enjoyed and it is pretty meh at some points.

    Bradley Cooper… No, just no. Chris Kyle was convicted of bullshitting about Jesse Ventura, so I doubt any of his adventure tales are really accurate.

    At times I wonder if he was really over there at all, because I have many friends and relatives who are combat vets and his stories are told verrrry differently than any I heard from them. From Cambodia to Fallujah, no vet has ever told me a story like Chris tell$.

    Propaganda? I don’t even care, he is allegedly dead and they turned his life into an Eastwood/Bradley Cooper vehicle… With a fake baby. Talk about a poor epitaph. I don’t even need to see it to quote Jay Sherman: It Stinks!

      • Why do you lie? The Navy hasn’t confirmed anything. The claim is Kyle’s own, and Kyle has been proven to be a liar in court.

      • Find one person who served with Kyle, or one person in the Navy who says Kyle’s account of his service isn’t correct. Just one. A link or a quote would be nice.

        • Oh, so now it’s name calling. That means you have nothing. You don’t have any quotes from any one of the people he served with on four tours? Nothing? Even though he’s super-famous and his movie bio is a huge hit? You don’t think if he was always making stuff up people would’t be coming forward? There are whole websites devoted to Stolen Valor and phony soldiers.

        • Just calling a spade a spade, that’s all.

          “Stolen Valor” (funny because something that doesn’t exist cannot be stolen) sites don’t track kill counts. His fellow soldiers don’t track kill counts. The Dept. of the Navy does that, and they never confirmed Kyle’s claims. The only quote that matters is a statement from the Navy, not some sycophant soldiers desperate to get on the Kyle money train.

        • So since the smears are only coming from people who never met Kyle, that’s more reliable than all the good things the people he actually served with and the Navy have said, including the two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars with V. Whatever. You have to really have a hate on for someone to go on that kind of info.

        • Why are so many people responding to this Blaine character? Does he have to crawl out from under his bridge and demand a toll to make it clearer what he’s trying to do?

        • I’ve got a kill count of 167. This was not with a sniper rifle though. It was one of my shoes I left in Baghdad when I had athletes foot really bad. I guess some flesh eating bacteria went airborne because everyone in that vicinity died. 167 confirmed kills people. Confirmed I tell you.

  32. Saw it twice, standing room only for both audiences in San Diego. The acting was superb, but a lot of the dialog was weak.. like, Star Wars Prequel “Anakin-love-Padme” weak. But when Clint hit the right notes, boy did he f’ing hit them. The way the ending was crafted shook a lot of people up, you could hear it.. and yeah I thought the theater was kinda dusty then.

  33. I read a lot of military history and first-hand accounts from soldiers all over the world in my spare time, but Chris Kyle’s autobiography was the first contemporary war literature I read. I saw the movie and enjoyed it, but I don’t do enough reading on current conflicts to judge the accuracy of the tactics depicted, so I will assume a little of the ole Hollywood embellishment was applied. The last Bradley Cooper movie I saw was The Hangover, and I thought he nailed this polar opposite role quite well. I usually refrain from getting political on these sorts of posts, but I count today as an exception and feel the need to ramble.

    I often prayed for the end of the Iraq war as a kid, and still do for the same in Afghanistan because I’ve always wanted the sons and daughters of our nation to have the lowest possible chance of being maimed or killed during their service time. Because of this I consider myself an anti-war activist of sorts, and unless the next war is absolutely just beyond the shadow of a doubt, I will proudly protest the spilling more American blood for nothing. That said, I am thoroughly disturbed by the Vietnam-born trend of placing enemy combatants’ lives on a higher priority than those of your own countrymen and women, often to the extent of wishing death or injury upon them just because they were deployed to a theater of questionable legality in the first place. Deployment is a circumstance no soldier in human history has ever had a real say in anyway.

    If white-hot hatred like that is going to be spewed towards anyone, it should be the suits in Washington who sent them there knowing they’ll never have to pick up a rifle themselves or those soldiers who go out of their way to serve dishonorably and commit real war crimes. You can’t choose to not be deployed to a Vietnam or an Iraq, but you can choose not to kill non-combatants while you’re there. This black-and-white “the invader deserves to die” mindset is juvenile garbage, and I say that as someone who has no friends in the military and has not had family serve since WWII, and they didn’t even fight for the U.S. I won’t be so brash as to say those who tout this belief are traitors, but it still bothers me.

  34. “I’d have to say the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis would have preferred Saddam Hussein over the current mess. Heh.”

    Americans who made their troops sent to Iraq are smartest, modest and most modern people in the world. They thought clearly before attacking. They thought they’ll be the hero. Now they are knowing that they’re scumbags.

    • Actually, “Blaine”, today’s volunteer military is the most educated and best prepared in the history of mankind. But other than being diametrically opposed to actual truth, great comment.

      Did your father not show you enough attention when you were little, Blaine?

      • It’s funny when people who diss public schools for continually lowering standards suddenly declare them to be bastions of enlightened learning when the issue of dumb animals joining the military is raised.

        Also LOL @ daddy issues, when the very heart of the military is obeying orders from a paternal authority figure. There’s a reason sexual assault is so common in the military. 🙂

      • Oh, I see.

        So your father sexually assaulted you. I’m sorry to hear that. You should seek counseling. Coming here and projecting your seething venom onto people who not only never buggered you, but actually died that you might live, isn’t therapeutic.

        I’m done engaging you, you sad and confused little boy. You’re not even game enough for this nut-kicking to be fun.

  35. Wow. I had no idea that TTAG was such a viper’s nest of anti-American Kos Kids and occupy-moms-basement transgender trustafarians.

    Did you creeps come here just to soil this thread with your impotent rage and daddy issues? Or are you actually regular readers? Because it might be time for me to edit my bookmarks.

    • TTAG profile is high enough that only a matter of time (likely long ago) that the libtard coven would have a monitoring team/teams assigned. Same as Beck, Levin, Limbaugh.

  36. Ralph, I enjoy your movie reviews, this review as much as any of them, because there is obviously a human being behind the writing. Knowledge and the perspective of age and experience obviously factor in (and are rare in war film reviews), but the gold-medal virtue is this, that your reviews deliver an independent and intelligent voice unafraid to express an opinion. Yours.

    Inevitably a review of a film like Fury or American Sniper will inspire a backed-up toilet-full of jejune comments from those readers who think a film review is meant to be an assessment of the subject matter’s ethical simplicity, rather than a responsive evaluation of the film-maker’s art; the quality of the writing, acting, directing, and cinematography. The frequency of such comments results, I have no doubt, from the actual experience of the young in schools and universities today, a world in which striking an irrelevant but PC moral pose is taken as an acceptable and gradable alternative to undertaking the actual and more difficult task at hand, in this case writing a review of the work of art as art.

    Only the naive and the young suppose that what is interesting in the biography of a skilled soldier is the extent to which his or her combat circumstances were, ethically, suitably aligned with the viewer/reader’s self-interest and politics. Surgeons cut. Soldiers seek to be effective under great stress, letting “the other poor bastard die for his country.” A movie is meant to engage the viewer, making him a participating witness to both the objective features and emotional engagement inherent in a story. You covered those bases, calling the balls and strikes.

    I laughed at Michael Moore’s remarkably dense tweet that “snipers are cowards and shoot people in the back,” referring to his uncle’s death in WWII. I did write to his office, pointing out that this habit of snipers is also favored by bomber pilots, tank gunners, mortar men, and, indeed, the average grunt. “What, Mike, was your point?” Moore is apparently still intellectually frozen, struggling to figure out just what wasn’t fair about junior high-school. But it pays, so he won’t progress. I should send him my Phil Ochs Songbook, but I still occasionally like to play “Small Circle of Friends.”

  37. The internet, like alcohol, brings out the real person. It can be ugly sometimes. Really ugly. But that proves the need to go armed in our society. The people that are so twisted and unbalanced walk amongst us and until they go all freak show on you they look normal.

    Until they dug up his crawl space John Wayne Gacy was a respected member of his community. Hopefully, the web serves as a pop off valve for some of these “people”. They get some release without having to climb a tower with a bag full of guns or crash into an elementary school with murder in their hearts.

    If it gives you a cold chill to read some of the remarks made here in this thread you’re probably normal, or close to it.

    If you made a comment such as “fellate a corpse’, then you really are beyond the reach of normality. Sad, really.

  38. The movie was not good IMHO. It butchered the book and added lame hollywood spin to it. I was pumped to see it after reading the book and thinking that Clint was directing it but I left disappointed. He has made some great movies in the past, Mystic River my favorite.

    Let me first say that Chris Kyle was a Navy Seal and that is quite an accomplishment because I bet only about 5% of population could make it through that grueling process. He was also probably a good to great sniper, that really shined because of talent and a whole LOT of opportunity. He no doubt believed in his country, his missions and supporting his brothers in arms and for those things I have immense respect.

    All that said he has said some pretty incredible things that has tarnished his name to some degree. The Jesse Ventura stuff smells like BS, as in Chris made it up. He also said that he and another Seal sniper was on top of the Super Dome during the fall out of Katrina, killing up to 30 looters with their rifles. Again huge BS. Lastly there is a controversy over him saying he shot and killed two guys that tried to rob him while on leave in Texas at a gas station. Supposedly the cops came, he presented some business card with phone number of someone at the DOD or whatever, and after the cops called it they let him go…..but this cant be prove either.

    Add up those stores he has told and it makes you wonder if his book is not totally true as well.

  39. I had a laugh at the reference to soldiers as alpha males. In truth they tend to be more like Deltas or Gama. The worker bee.

    • I know I will get blasted for commenting on this because “I never wore the uniform”. But I have to agree with your comment Eric. You have Alphas, Betas, and all the way down in the military. They represent personality traits similar to society as a whole. I respect people that have served but only because they served. I don’t think they are any better human beings than those that chose not to enlist.
      I work with an old crotchety Vietnam veteran. We are continually at odds with each other based on personality conflicts. He is programmed to follow orders no matter how illogical those instructions are. I tend to work more efficiently in an autonomous manner. I seem happier at my work than he does and this irritates him to no end.
      One day, as a joke, I filled in for a guy who had Quality Control responsibilities. No ranking authority was associated with this position, but the old man saw himself as subordinate to me. I started ordering him around and without protest, he complied. A friend of his came up to me afterwards and said what I did was funny and it confirmed his suspicion that the vet had an incapability for thinking for himself and could not function outside of a chain of command structure.
      I don’t see Alphas subjecting themselves to this abuse.

  40. Great review and I haven’t even seen the movie. Not sure I will at the theater because I hate going to the theater, I can’t legally CC there, there is no security/protection for me or anyone else and the movie by all accounts not just yours has very little to do with the real life and times of Chris Kyle. To my fellow TTAGer’s, buy the book because it is a good read, Chris was an American Hero and his widow and kids probably need the money.

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