Patriot & Protector
From a young age his father driller into him that he was a protector of people and so it wasn't a surprise when Chris (Bradley Cooper - Serena) ended up becoming a Navy S.E.A.L. sniper as he had always shown a natural talent for marksmanship. And it is that combination of skill with a rifle and an inbuilt sense of having to protect others which saw him saving hundreds of lives as he served multiple tours in Iraq, becoming a legend due to the number of enemy he shot. But on returning home it becomes clear to his wife and friends that not only has the war seriously affected him but a civilian life with out a need to protect and guide leaves Chris struggling.
At the end of watching "American Sniper" I found myself asking: did I know the real Chris Kyle after watching this? And to be honest I can't answer yes to that but I can say that I watched an engaging, intelligent, multi-layered movie which told a true story in a way which balanced entertainment with respect and patriotism. What do I mean? Well through scenes from Chris's childhood to the way he acts towards other we get to understand what makes him tick, that natural instinct to protect and guide others. And as such when he comes home to civilian life we see how he is lost with out that purpose, we even see a scene where his crying child causes him to act angrily because of that need to care and protect.
But as I said "American Sniper" balances various elements and whilst we get this character depth we also have the entertainment which comes from the drama and the action. There are many scenes which draw us in to the situation, the dilemma which Chris faces as a sniper where he had to make some incredibly tough decisions as to pulling the trigger or not. But there is also the cheer on moment of action when a bad guy is taken down or there is a flurry of gun fire. All of which combines with the patriotic side, not in a jingoistic sort of way but a pride in where he came from. And let me just say that the ending of "American Sniper" hits home that side of things in a real and hugely powerful way.
What this all boils down to is that "American Sniper" for me is the sort of movie that after watching I want to watch again and I mean immediately again. I say that not just because it was entertaining or emotional but because it was so well balanced that I know there are aspects and insights which only reveal themselves from subsequent viewings.