Larry Wilmore spent some time on The Nightly Show Monday night discussing American Sniper, the money it has made, its impact, and Bradley Cooper’s abs. Cooper, according to Wilmore, is the “new R-rated Jesus,” given that the movie is on pace to beat The Passion of the Christ as the number one R-rated movie of all time. The film’s current box office total, over $200 million domestically, is the cost of “like 40 seconds of the actual Iraq War,” Wilmore said.
Wilmore looked at how movies about different wars portray the people who fought in those wars, managing to slip into his tongue-in-cheek assessments a Val Kilmer dig and a Major Payne reference. “One thing many people seem to be forgetting about American Sniper is that it’s just one interpretation of one soldier’s story,” Wilmore said. “Whether you’re pro-American Sniper or against American Sniper, both sides need to remember the actual theater of war is very different than watching a film about war in a theater. But if there’s one thing we can all agree on, even the terrorists, Bradley Cooper’s got some ridiculous abs.”
Wilmore also hosted a panel about the film, which featured a range of perspectives, and was ultimately more thoughtful than purely humorous. Guests included Nicholas Irving, a sniper himself and author of the book The Reaper, Matt Taibbi, who wrote a Rolling Stone piece “‘American Sniper’ Is Almost Too Dumb to Criticize,” Paul Rieckhoff, founder of and CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of American, and comedian Sabrina Jalees. Watch below: