The Hurt Locker
Running Time: 131 mins
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty
Directed by: Kathryn Bigelow
Release Date: 18th February, 2010
It may be a low budget movie, but chances are you have already heard of “The Hurt Locker”. Making waves in Hollywood since it’s debut at the Venice Film Festival in September 2008, the film is nominated for an impressive nine Academy Awards this year, including Best Direction for Kathryn Bigelow. It’s kind of ironic that “Avatar” is up for the same amount of awards, considering Kathryn’s ex husband is one Mr James Cameron.
I fear “Avatar” may win most of those Oscars, and though there’s no denying the incredible filmmaking achievement of that movie, in my opinion “The Hurt Locker” deserves Best Film for it’s powerful story.
The film is set in the war zone of Iraq, focusing on the three-man EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) unit during the last 38 days of their tour. Staff Sgt William James (Jeremy Renner) is the man in charge, teaming up with Sgt J.T Sandborn (Anthony Mackie) and Specialist Owen Elridge (Brian Geraghty).
Sgt James is a cowboy, preferring to ditch the protective suit and get his hands dirty. His seemingly careless methods are a constant frustration to Sgt Sanborn, who is meticulous about following procedure, and knows just how dangerous their job can be. But though it may appear Sgt James is reckless, when it comes to diffusing a bomb, there is no better.
The film opens with the statement “war is a drug”, which is certainly true for Sgt James. The most interesting scene in the film is when he is out of danger and back home, and how terrifying normality seems to him. On the other hand Sgt Sanborn can’t wait to get home, counting down the days, praying he’ll still be alive at the end of every one.
Don’t be too quick to write off “The Hurt Locker” as yet another Iraqi war film, because apart from the setting, it’s very different. There are no pro-America statements and no politics, the war setting is simply the perfect pressure cooker in which to place these characters.
Then there’s the action. “The Hurt Locker” is packed with extremely tense moments, which will have you on the edge of your seat, (or if you’re as much of a wuss as I am, covering up your eyes!)
“The Hurt Locker” is a powerful look at why some soldiers choose to put themselves in danger, and what that intense experience does to them. It’s one of those films that will stay with you for a long time after you leave the cinema.
4 and a half out of 5.
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Reviewed by Alicia Malone
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