Finally saw this today. I actually had no interest whatsoever, but it's gotten such rave reviews, it was hard not to see it. In the end, I'm glad I went. It wasn't perfect but it made me think about a few things.
I think the dichotomy between (lets for the sake of the argument call them) the war loving conservatives, and the anti-war hippies, is a deep one. But I don't think people who dislike this film, dislike it because its bad, or even because they hate war that much, but because they don't like the military.
I think any (rational) person will admit sometimes war is inevitable and even necessary. But there is a certain ideology, however stereotypical, about military personnel that rubs some people the wrong way.
The ideology of some of the people in the movie was simplistic. The father was a one-dimensional, upright, gun toting simpleton, that liked to give his kids a "whippin," if they didn't beat up bullies. Military guys are generally presented as arrogant potty mouth's with an ego the size of Texas. There was a reason Taya was hesitant to get involved with a seal, as that stigma is very real.
Also, Chris Kyle did have a bit of a savior complex. I don't care if he had saved the whole world a million times over, he had a savior complex. He was unable to imagine anyone else taking Mustafa down, or even completing the job. He wasn't able to readjust to civilian life well at first, because he couldn't imagine his outfit surviving without him. Everyone coddles them for the hell they go through, and I agree it was hell, but I think the savior complex is also a pathology that should've been addressed more, mainly by his counselor.
It may sound like I hate this film, but I give it 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. What I'm trying to say is, I think people look at the stereotypical character flaws of those in the military, and overlook what hell war is. While I think Chris Kyle had a savior complex, I also can understand how hard it would be to leave his buddies behind, while they were putting their life on the line, every day. That is something the movie made me think about, and I didn't expect it to.
I still don't understand people that eat, breathe, and drink guns and war. Like my uncle who never was in the military at all. People who were in it, will tell you war is not glorious, it is hell. My uncle will pretty much watch nothing but war movies, and acts like his rifles are an extension of his penis...it's just a little excessive and unbalanced to me.
I wasn't moved to tears or anything beyond by the movie, like some people were. I actually have a friend that tried to make me feel unpatriotic because I didn't. That really pissed me off actually, and it only feeds the fire of those who aren't already fans of those in arms.
However I think hope this movie bridged the gap a little. It did a good job displaying the horrors of war in the middle east, and the difficulty of adjusting to normal life. I don't think I would've gone back for a 4th tour if I was Kyle. Call me selfish, or whatever you want, I'll call it: trusting in others to finish the job. The main character brings up a great point (paraphrase) "Do you want these mother fuckers showing up in San Diego or New York." He has a point because that is all some of them want, mass genocide, and I do think we owe a lot of thanks to those who keep such an evil at bay.
I do wish the movie hadn't ended so abruptly, and had revealed more about why that disturbing looking vetKyle, but it never did. Easy enough to look up on google, but I wished the movie had addressed it.Spoiler: (Highlight this box to see the hidden message.)
Did any of you see it? Do you want to see it? What are your thoughts on the subject?