It comes in handy for America to have a neighbor like Canada. Let’s face it, Canadians are not totally unlike Americans, but they’re also just enough different that they give us a fresh look at ourselves, if we choose to pay attention.
Recently, many Americans have been taking sides on the movie American Sniper. Basically, the right loves it, and the left hates it. Some on the right went apoplectic after the film failed to take home any major honors from last Sunday’s Oscars. But, leave it to our Canadian cousins to approach American Sniper with a sense of perspective.
The comedy team of Jeff Ayars and Dan Rosen, who are known as “Cannibal Milkshake,” envisioned what American Sniper would look like if it had been set in Canada. The result is a parody trailer that is sure to anger those Americans who are treating American Sniper as some sort of statement on the great American warrior. But, for the rest of us, it’s just funny.
Canadian Sniper seemed like an opportunity to simultaneously satirize the intense patriotism of American Sniper as well as the obtuse stereotypes Americans have of Canadians.
Ayers says that he expected Canadians to be more critical of Canadian Sniper, and he and Rosen have been pleased at how well the trailer has been received.
American stereotypes are replaced with Canadian stereotypes.
It’s not clear yet what American defenders of Clint Eastwood’s film will have to say about the parody; Americans are notorious for not noticing what goes on north of our border, so most may not even be aware that Canadian Sniper exists. But, a number of posters on the CBC comment thread are critical of both Chris Kyle, and American Sniper.
“Col. Klink” comments, “Less jingoistic than the real move [sic], it’s an improvement.”
“CanadianTuffGuy” defends American Sniper, and wonders how Canadians would feel if Americans were “poking fun at our Fallen Hero at the War Memorial in Ottawa.” To which “grgrant” replies that “poking fun” at a real person is not quite the same as poking fun “at a Hollywood movie’s portrayal of a character who represents a real person but, in fact, is created partly for theatrical purposes.”
“Over Taxed” takes a direct shot at Americans. After pointing out that it was a Canadian sniper who made the best recorded shot during a war, he says, “I guess it’s true about Canada being the older more dignified brother and the US being little brother always stamping his feet and looking for attention.”
Canadian Sniper pokes fun at American Sniper by replacing the stereotypes of the Clint Eastwood movie with Canadian stereotypes. Judging from the comments it has received, most Canadians approve of the effort. But will oh-so-much-more serious Americans, especially on the American right, find it funny at all, or will they be calling for another U.S. invasion of Canada?
Here is Canadian Sniper, via YouTube:
Image via screen shot from YouTube