Genre & Length: War/Action/Based on a true story, 132 minutes.
Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle’s pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and turns him into a legend. Back home to his wife and kids after four tours of duty, however, Chris finds that it is the war he can’t leave behind.
Plot & Pacing: I heard mixed reviews about this movie long before I went to see it, and I do want to say right now that I haven’t read the book. I honestly had to Google Chris Kyle to find out more about the actual person.
The reviews I heard varied, often based on someone’s political leanings, which wasn’t really surprising.
The extremes on both ends of the spectrum made me wonder if I watched the same movie as those other people did.
This is a war movie. Whether or not the war is being waged directly against the United States, you have to be literally living under a rock to not know that the Middle East is in turmoil – and it would be whether there were US Armed Forces present or not.
But more than just a war movie, it is a movie about a man and his family. War is always brutal – always. It doesn’t matter what the cause is. Even in the most righteous of circumstances, the fact that at least one involved party would rather kill than bend makes that a reality.
And that brutality has a cost – especially for this directly involved on the front lines. These days, we know it as PTSD.
In many ways, that’s what this movie is really about. It’s not about the rights or wrongs of war – it’s about what it does to the soldiers fighting in it. It’s about what it does to their families. But it’s also about how that cost doesn’t have to be everything. A family can still survive – and thrive – despite the tragedy.
Pacing-wise, this movie did not feel nearly as long as it was, so that’s a definite plus.
Casting: I wasn’t familiar with any of these actors before seeing this movie, but I felt all the characters were portrayed well.
Music/Sound Effects: It’s no Lord of the Rings soundtrack, that’s for sure, but it wasn’t bad. Just… not memorable, at least to me.
Special Effects: People die in gruesome ways. I have no idea if they were true-to-reality portraying these types of injuries, but it was close enough for my imagination.
Would I watch it again: Probably not, but only because these are the types of films that I can only handle watching once, emotionally.