Some reviewers go into a liberal rage over American Sniper.
“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” – Voltaire
With the unexpected, and massive success of American Sniper, the left has gone into panic-mode. With every war movie comes the inevitable media prattle about jingoism, and shades of gray.
If a war film makes monsters out of American soldiers, and humanizes the enemy, it is praised as being “nuanced,” but if a war film claims that the Americans are the good guys, and the enemy is anything less than a struggling people under the boot of American imperialism, it is reviled. This is the case with American Sniper.
American Sniper is based on Chris Kyle’s memoir, and as such, is rooted in his perspective. Though many critics did indeed praise the film, many questioned its intentions, and perspective:
“Eastwood’s portrait of Kyle’s wartime experiences…bleeds red, white and blue in the worst ways…American war films have moved past the jingoism of American Sniper…” – Cameron Williams, The Popcorn Junkie
“…to produce something this incurious about its troubling real life subject, to promote his ‘legend’ with little more than jingoistic hagiography, is at best disingenuous and distasteful. At worst, in the current landscape, it’s grossly irresponsible.” – Chris Fyvie, The Skinny
“American Sniper is a simplistic, pandering tribute to the American military and people who give themselves over to it blindly, aimed at an audience that prizes patriotism over drama and isn’t interested in complexity when telling the stories of so-called American heroes.” – Josh Bell, Las Vegas Weekly
However upset the film made these delicate flowers, the majority of critics still gave the film high marks. But it wasn’t until American Sniper received six Oscar nominations, and shot to the top of the box office that the real hate came out. Two days after the film opened to massive success, professional moron Michael Moore tweeted:
My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren’t heroes. And invaders r worse
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) January 18, 2015
Actor Seth Rogan compared the movie to Nazi propaganda, tweeting:
American Sniper kind of reminds me of the movie that’s showing in the third act of Inglorious Basterds. — Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) January 18, 2015
Lindy West, in a piece for The Guardian, wondered why “simplistic patriots” (see: anyone who disagrees with Lindy) were treating a killer as a hero:
“The real American Sniper was a hate-filled killer. Why are simplistic patriots treating him as a hero?”
Dennis Jett of The New Republic, who wrote his hit piece without even seeing the film, answered West, saying: “One answer to that question: Because many Americans are unable to accept that nothing was won in Iraq, and that the sacrifices Kyle and others made were not worth it.” Let’s be clear, the hate being lobbed at this movie is not about Chris Kyle, and it’s not about Clint Eastwood’s directorial decisions, it’s about war. To the left, the enemy is never the enemy, they are merely misunderstood. It’s America’s fault that men are walking into cafes with plastique strapped to their chest, blowing themselves up for the glorification of Islam. We drove them to their behavior. So to paint an enemy in such stark light as American Sniper does (once again, based on a book written by a solider) is to make terrorists look like, well, bad people–and that’s not allowed. Where’s the nuance?! Actor Dean Cain, a friend of Kyle’s, summed it up nicely in his tweet to Seth Rogan:
And while I acknowledge that the movie takes place during the Iraq war, the enemies there are the same ones we face today. Al Qaeda, ISIS, these are organizations that are intent on killing anyone, and everyone with whom they disagree. These groups are evil, they are vile, and to demand nuance in their depiction is ridiculous. Moreover, to criticize a film for portraying these terrorists as the vile creatures they are would be laughable if it weren’t so insulting to the men, and women of the United States military.
They are the enemy. They even kill their own people. Just in case we need any reassurance of that fact, here are some images of recent ISIS activity:
- Two men being thrown from the top of a building for being gay.
- Two men being crucified for “banditry.”
- A woman being stoned to death for alleged adultery.
Seems pretty black and white to me.