THE HURT LOCKER Movie Review
When I saw The Hurt Locker, all I knew about it was what I had seen in the trailer, but not much else. I have a habit of not reading too much about a movie before seeing it, so that it retains some type of surprise element. But what I did see in the trailer intrigued me enough that I wanted to see the movie.
The Hurt Locker, directed by Kathryn Bigelow (Point Break, K-19) takes place during the summer of 2004 and follows the story of three members of a counterforce that specializes in disarming homemade bombs, or Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in Iraq.
The movie opens with Sergeant J.T. Sanborn (Anthony Mackie), Specialist Owen Eldridge (Brian Geraghty) and their team leader trying to disarm a bomb. Through some complications Sanborn and Eldridge end up losing their team leader. The army assigns Staff Sergeant William James (Jeremy Renner) to take over the team. And while James might be good at his job, his reckless behavior and his lack of concern for following military protocol create tension with his team. With only 38 days left in their tour of Iraq, the men will have to learn to work and trust with each other if they’re going to survive.
The Hurt Locker is not a war movie per se, because its focus is not on battles, but on the very dangerous situations this squad deals with on a daily basis. It portrays a very real and somber picture of what the soldiers go through physically and mentally.
I enjoyed watching The Hurt Locker, but for total disclosure I have to let you know that the three people that I went to see it with didn’t like it. While I do agree that they were a few part that were dragging on, and that the movie could have been cut down a lot, I thought that overall it was a very interesting examination of that world. In addition, I liked the ending, which I think tied the movie together.
The best scene in the movie has the one where James lifts a string that reveals 7 bombs attached to it hidden in the ground that he needs to disarm before they go off. That should give you an idea of some of the intensity that we are faced with in the movie.
Aside from that, I think that my enjoyment depended a lot on the performance of the actors. Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty were able to create three characters so different from each other, who need to put aside their differences in order to make it through the day alive. It’s a really great dynamic between all three of them and I think it works because of the brilliant work all three actors put into their work.
And for the interesting story that proves how immersed into the part the actors were, I didn’t realize that Jeremy Renner was the actor from ABC’s cancelled show, “The Unusuals,” of which I had watched a couple of episodes, until I looked it up. Funny enough I kept thinking throughout the movie of how good he was, which is the same thought I had when I watched him in “The Unusuals.” This had never happened to me before. But take note because I think we’re going to be seeing a lot more of Jeremy Renner very soon.
The Hurt Locker also features quite a few great guest star which include Guy Pearce (Memento), David Morse (‘John Adams’), Ralph Fiennes (The Reader), and Evangeline Lilly (‘Lost’). Although most of them appear in only a few scenes, it’s fun to see them pop up here and there.
Overall, I think The Hurt Locker is a great piece of character development, brilliant acting, mixed in with a gripping story that shows you the true face of war.
The Hurt Locker comes out to select theaters on June 26, 2009. If the story appeals to you and you get a chance to go see it, I would suggest you do so.