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I've been reading a lot of the comments on this website from people and
I don't understand what they are coming from. Calling it overrated and
inaccurate. Don't believe a word. All the awards, honors, #1 spots The
Hurt Locker has gotten, it deserves it.
The film explores the clichéd "War is hell" approach, but in a totally different way. We explore our characters and they do act like many army men. Anthony Mackie as Sergeant Sanborn is the normal army man who shows no emotion until the film ends. Brian Geraghty as Specialist Eldridge is the kind of army man who questions about what's going on there. The only one different from the pack is Jeremy Renner as Sergeant James. He's an adrenaline junkie, and he plays his character so well. He definitely deserved his Oscar nomination.
The direction is so good as well. The way this film was shot is like you are there, in the action, experiencing what the characters are experiencing. The film taps into humanitarianism.
I also really enjoyed the cameos from Guy Pearce, David Morse, and Ralph Fiennes. I know some people have complained about this, saying they didn't have enough time, but they're cameos. That's why they are so short.
Many films have been made about the War in Iraq...very few have been as good as The Hurt Locker. Overall, in my opinion, this was the best film of the year and one of the best films possibly ever.
Whoever wrote, directed, and/or produced this movie should be ashamed of themselves. There are so many major errors that I can't address them in this short review. As a soldier who daily works with Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), I can say that they have absolutely no concept of what EOD or any other military units actually do. They didn't bother to research either. This movie presents support units as ground-pounding heroes and elite units as incompetent mercenaries. The plot was all over the place. Full of propaganda and very misguided stereotypes. They did get a few things right though. The explosions are somewhat realistic, and bombs can be hidden virtually anywhere. My advice: don't waste your time or your money on this abomination, especially if you are a soldier.
This movie is one of those that while trying to depict something in
reality vs. say an Avatar which can do whatever it wants because it is
obviously make believe, totally misses reality.
More than several scenes make no sense. And not just to former military. Even my wife laughed at some scenes and knew tactically what the characters would have done in reality vs. what this movie depicts them doing. Come on writer(s), director - do you really think your audience is that stupid? I guess so, because millions are falling for this movie and many of us who see how poor the depiction is are amazed viewers are so gullible. No wonder the Army didn't cooperate with the production!!!
Even someone off the street would relocate/reposition themselves if they were in a gunfight with a sniper and had just fired off a round. Blood clogging the magazine of a .50 caliber sniper rifle? Good thing for the weapon designers no one ever bleeds in war.
This film depicts individual soldiers acting irrationally and
completely independent of any authority. There are no officers in this
war--each man does whatever he wants; there is no cooperation,
reliance, or humanity. No actual military procedures are followed; each
man makes up his own. The "enemy" is portrayed as non-human, and
largely irrelevant. These soldiers have enough to do fighting with each
The film is entirely unsympathetic, and a wonderful example of species self-hatred (if we assume those who made it are indeed human).
Nine Oscar nominations for this picture is an insult, not only to other war movies, but to war itself.
I can only conclude that, if this picture accurately describes our forces in Iraq, we not only deserve to lose the war, but we should be required to learn a great deal about civilization from the Arab Middle East before complaining about it.
The Hurt Locker
Every year we get a couple of Iraq war movies and they always turn out to be flops. The Hurt Locker doesn't star big names but is getting the best reviews of the year. This movie doesn't display the usual anti-American sentiment. It doesn't treat our soldiers as evil (unlike Avatar), or as stupid, and drunk hoodlums. It shows the psychological effects on soldiers who know any day could be their last. This provides for some good drama as most war movies do. Although I thought it was well directed and well acted, there wasn't enough there for me to call it a good movie.
The movie stars Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, and Brian Geraghty as officers William, JT, and Owen. They are a bomb squad in Iraq who are called on to disable road bombs. If you have watched any news on the Iraq war you will probably know, there are a lot of road bombs out there. William is the bomb specialist in the group that has to get up and close to these bombs and disable them. JT and Owen watch his back and assist him in these missions. William is also the new guy in the group and immediately sets himself as a risk taker. JT on the other hand is cautious and plays everything by the book. This will bring William and JT at odds with each other throughout the movie. Owen agrees with JT and seems so nervous on missions that he is about to have a mental breakdown at any moment.
The movie is filled with several bomb disabling missions and then JT and William arguing back and forth about the missions. JT thinks Williams's inability to listen to him and follow his commands is putting all their lives in danger. He likes to follow his own instincts and doesn't seem to work with the team. I think most people would have to agree with JT it does seem like he is putting himself in danger over and over again instead of doing what is safe. Why does William act this way? William has such a determination to disable the bombs that it seems that he will die before giving up. Does he have nothing to live for? That doesn't seem to be the case; he has a family waiting for him back home. It seems that he enjoys risking his life day in and day out more than going back to the safety of his home. I don't understand why this is, and it's one of the problems that bothered me throughout this movie.
Critics seem to love this movie for its thrills and intensity. I on the other hand didn't feel tensed or thrilled. Disabling a bomb over and over again isn't really that interesting. It takes about 10 minutes to put on the big suit and walk over to the bomb, and then another 10 minutes to disable it. It's actually quite boring to watch and there are about 5 scenes just like that, that take over most of the movie. I was never scared for the characters because I figured hey they can't die they are the main actors and I still have an hour left of this movie. When not disabling bombs JT is constantly getting after William which gets annoying and in one awkward scene they are fighting for no reason. Other scenes just drag on and seem to have no point to them. What is the goal for these soldiers in this movie? It seems to me that it is just to survive their round in combat until they get to go back home. It just doesn't seem like a good enough reason for me to care about this movie.
Rated R- Lots of cussing and violent images.
I went to see this movie simply to see what all the hype is about, and
I was as disappointed as surprised about how it got 6(?) Oscars and 7.9
rating on IMDb as of today.
Kathryn Bigelow should be the luckiest director ever to win the best picture and best direction Oscar for this sort of a really really bad movie and I wonder why? Did the totally unrealistic 'cowboy' bomb disposal-man storyline mean anything to somebody that I failed see? Why did I keep getting the mental image that this movie was a remake of some old bad Western movie about a cowboy doing 'brave deeds' in the Wild Wild West infected with 'evil' Red Indians; but just that it was set in a different background this time? Was it given the Oscars because the director being ex of James Cameron, and made it a nice underdog (gossipy) story for day time TV shows to munch on? Or was it some sort of Emperor's Clothes syndrome - where most people realized it was junk but just couldn't say so because others didn't seem to be saying it out aloud?
And finally what was with that sniper scene where they showed the shell casing dropping in high-resolution-super-slow-mo as if to convey a 'deep message' or something? Something in the lines of 'EOD guys make good snipers all of a sudden and they will get the filthy terrorists all the time'? Was it just me who felt like there were so many bits and pieces here and there in the movie squeezed in for no apparent reason? And you can get the Oscars for editing and directing for that??
If you haven't seen this yet, don't waste your money on tickets. Wait till they run it on TV in a few years. You are not going to miss much.
Despite all the acclamation poured into The Hurt Locker, I started
watching it with pretty much skepticism, because I think the Irak war
has already been examined in cinema from all the possible angles, not
to mention that the protests against it feel increasingly tiring and
irrelevant (even though they are right).However, The Hurt Locker ended
up being a fascinating experience because of its innovative subject,
lack of dull ideology, excellent performances and specially, because of
Kathryn Bigelow's intense direction.
One of the things I most liked in The Hurt Locker is that it does not pretend to instruct us about the failed reasons of the incursion in Irak, or repeating oil conspiracies or complaining about the lies about the weapons of mass destruction.It is simply focused on the experience from three soldiers specialized in disabling bombs, and it leaves us to interpret the situations from our points of view.And it also shows us brilliant scenes of action and war suspense.
During the first seconds of The Hurt Locker, screenwriter Mark Boal establishes the message from the film: "War is a drug".And during the rest of the film, he shows us the effects of that addiction, making a realistic portrait of the dehumanization provoked by the uncertainty of combat, the impersonal management of the soldiers in the army and the psychological afflictions provoked by the horrible life conditions during war.But all those messages are set in the background from the movie, assimilating themselves to the spectator's point of view.On that way, the main attractions are the incredibly tense missions from the soldiers and the brilliant performances from the cast who interprets them.Jeremy Renner brings a very detailed development, which lets us see his character as a likable and competent man, but who is truly devastated in his soul.Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty are also excellent, since they completely become on their characters.By the way, the marketing from The Hurt Locker emphasizes the presence in the cast from Ralph Fiennes, Guy Pearce and Evangeline Lilly, but their roles are so short that they could be considered as cameos.I understand that strategy, because the main actors from this film are relatively unknown, and in order to raise the profile from this movie, they hired famous names; however that could disappoint the spectators who expect to see Fiennes or Pearce as the centre of attention, when reality is very different.But really...the performances from Renner, Mackie and Geraghty are so powerful that I barely noticed the stars on their fleeting appearances.
What takes me to the real star from this film: Bigelow.The filmography from this director includes some of my favourite movies (Near Dark, Strange Days and Point Break).However, in early 2000s, her career declined with two mediocre movies: The Weight of Water and K-19: The Widowmaker.However, after that low period in her career, Bigelow makes her return to glory with The Hurt Locker, at the same time she created precise, energetic and very exciting action scenes in this movie.However, I have to make clear that the action of The Hurt Locker is not based on massive battles, confusing shootouts or heroic displays of machismo.Compared with the excesses from directors like Michael Bay or Stephen Sommers, Bigelow's action seems slow and methodic...but it is infinitely more striking because of the emotional weight from this film.Besides, Bigelow creates an appropriate sensation of anguish on the action scenes, which perfectly shows the nightmare of being at war.
The only complain I have against this film is that it has a few irrelevant moments.But that does not avoid me from giving a very enthusiastic recommendation to this excellent movie, which is absolutely worthy of the acclamation it is receiving.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"The Hurt Locker" is one of the most incredible films of the decade. It
looks fearlessly into the heart of the conflict in Iraq. Exposing the
harsh reality of war, the film is able to give the viewer sympathy
towards both the soldiers and the civilians of Iraq while they continue
in their struggles, exposing their true humanity. The characters and
film-making is so realistic, you could have sworn that you were there.
This movie has given me a newfound respect for Kathryn Bigelow as a
director. *SPOILER* The scene of Beckham as a body bomb is one of the
most powerful scenes I've witnessed in a film. James's emotions during
that scene aren't over-acted, but entirely natural.
This is one of the best films I've seen on the Iraq War yet. I recommend it whole-heartedly. The dialog and imagery cuts deep emotionally. The acting is excellent. It should be considered iconic of this generation.
The Hurt Locker is a brilliant examination of the war in Iraq, in
particular a bomb squad unit faced with the task of replacing their
Jeremy Renner is SSgt. Williams James, the replacement bomb specialist. He knows that the unit lost a valued member, but he makes it clear that he is no ordinary bomb diffuser. James is a renegade, adrenaline junkie set on doing the job his way. He has some regard for his unit members, Sgt. JT Sanborn (Anthony Mackie) and Spc. Owen Eldridge (Brian Geraghty), but when it comes to him performing his job, he doesn't let them get in the way.
The three members form a bomb unit that go around encountering all sorts of situations to suspicious automobiles to possible suicide bombers. James wears the bomb suit while Sanborn and Eldridge are his eyes and ears. They rely on each other to stay alive, whether they like it or not. Much like a chain, each link depends on the other to stay together.
I have said this several times, but it is the originality of a story that makes me interested. War is a popular genre. For a movie to interest me, I need to be invested in the story, the characters, and the technical aspects. A good filmmaker focuses on one or two of these. A great one makes the package complete. Kathryn Bigelow, who before this film was probably more well known for being the ex-wife of James Cameron, has established herself as a very gifted filmmaker. In the opening scene she shows her ability to build suspense, releases it, and follow through with intensity, action, and fantastic camera work. Great tracking shots and impressive slow motion effects help make this a very memorable opening sequence.
Bigelow wasn't the only person to impress me. Renner takes a big step in the right direction with this role. There is something about him that is so interesting. We know nothing about him other than he is the unit's new member. After seeing his renegade approach to the job, we assume he a nut job, someone who doesn't care about whether he lives or dies. As the story moves along we learn more about him and his family back home. He develops a friendly relationship with one of the kids that hangs around the base. Renner slowly peels back the layers of his character through little interactions with those around him. We see he is a true, blue collared soldier who wants nothing more than to serve his country.
At the beginning of the movie we are given a quote that ends with, "war is a drug." Renner's character exemplifies this statement, being virtually the only person who wants to be where he is. It's a perfect way of setting the tone. A movie called The Hurt Locker is not going to be about sunshine and lollipops. It's going to be gritty and powerful. Bigelow presents some intense and moving images. This is a movie that stays with you. It's a movie that opens your eyes. That's exactly what a war movie should do.
I liked this movie very much because, apart from being a good thriller,
I believe it is a quite good psychological comment of how people
function under extreme circumstances such as war.
Basically the movie introduces few different types of character and then inspects them. Firstly SSgt. James who as he says "loves only one thing..". He is a person who loves war because it gets his adrenalin pumping. Anybody who ever loved doing anything can easily understand what keeps him going, except in his case it is something, hm..., not so nice and widely excepted. This results in creating extremely dangerous situations for all the people (soldiers) that surround him. He is aware of that, and is torn by that fact but he really cannot help himself, he has no choice because he is the way he is. He seeks danger on one end, and when he finds it, he appears to be the best person to be around. A nice touch in the movie was the way in which he tries to rationally "validate" his actions by taking a righteous stand regarding the death of an innocent (not to go into the details)...
Other soldiers are a wide specter of human beings with feelings of regret, fear, compassion etc.. The people who are very much affected by the war and are changed by it. Two supporting roles of Sgt. Sanborn and Spc. Eldridge are well placed in contrast to SSgt. James for being "human". Acting is great, and all the important characters convey their state of mind very well. David Morse was in the movie for just a few seconds and played his role of a "hillbilly cowboy" marvelously as Col. Reed.
A really good movie...
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