American Sniper, the Clint Eastwood directed story of U.S Navy SEAL Chris Kyle is as controversial as the war it depicts. The true story of the most lethal sniper in U.S history has since broken records with its release on January 16th but not without receiving criticism. The film earned an approximate 105.3M in less than a week and is set to become the most successful film released on Martin Luther King Jr. weekend.
With its suspenseful trailer, Bradley Cooper star power and real life back-story depicting the four tours served in Iraq by Chris Kyle, the film had no trouble rounding up viewers, still drawing crowds after its record-breaking release. But among these successes comes criticism and controversy in Hollywood, with mixed reviews being served up by Michael Moore, Seth Rogen and others who went to see the movie.
Moore made the connection between American Snipers release on Martin Luther King Jr. weekend and King’s assassination by sniper in 1968. He also went on to tweet about the role snipers play in war and how they are “cowards”, as well as claiming director Clint Eastwood had Vietnam and Iraq confused in the characters calling Iraqis “savages”.
Actor Seth Rogen jumped into the mix, relating the movie to a scene in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Bastards. The scene referenced shows footage of a Nazi propaganda movie with a sniper in a clock tower. Some saw this reference to the glorification of war in the movie and of Chris Kyle’s character. Rogen was criticized for his comments and said it “kinda” reminded him of the scene but that he “actually liked American Sniper.”
No matter the level of criticism received by the film or the mixed reviews it still has fans jumping to its defense and enjoying its story.
“I didn’t know it was based on a true story before I went to see it,” said moviegoer Rheanna Radchenko outside of the Queensway movie theatre. “It was really touching.”
“It was good,” said Tim Sidorn, another moviegoer. “It was really intense at times actually.”
Overall the controversial film clearly has something to offer as it had audiences rushing to see it, breaking box office records and continuing to draw crowds. Although the film has been met with mixed reviews viewers continue to come out in its defense.