Movie Review – The Hurt Locker

The Hurt Locker shows us what it is like to be up close and personal with danger, with an unseen enemy who speaks a foreign tongue. 123movies alternative It shows us what it is like to be afraid of dying every day or what it is like to eradicate all fear from your body and face that enemy with the utmost confidence. The Hurt Locker is the story of a group of three Army bomb squad soldiers, young men, who have seen the worst in the Iraq War, yet try to face each day with a strong mind. However, with each day comes new challenges.

The three main characters are actors whom I have not seen before, and if I have, I don’t remember them, though with their performances in this movie, I’m sure I will in the future. The movie’s star is Jeremy Renner. He plays the central character Staff Sergeant William James – the seasoned, arrogant bomb-tech who joins the squad early on when their team leader dies. He doesn’t like to play by the rules and is disliked right away by Sergeant JT Sanborn, played by Anthony Mackie. Sanborn is the soldier who tries to keep the squad on their feet, primed for action. The third soldier is played brilliantly by Brian Geraghty. He is specialist Owen Eldridge – the soldier who is trying to overcome great fears about death. With constant meetings with his doctor, to talk about his fears, he repeats at different times, “Be all that you can be,” the Army’s slogan. “What if all I can be is dead on the side of an Iraqi road?” he questions.

The Hurt Locker is also a study of human emotion. All three of these soldiers represent different types of soldiers and, perhaps, different emotions evident in just one soldier whilst in the field of battle. James represents confidence and/or arrogance, Sanborn represents strength-under-pressure, and Eldridge – fear.

If you’re looking for a storyline, this movie has no official one. Essentially, it is the everyday life of three Army bomb squad soldiers in the Iraq War. Not to say that isn’t fascinating. Every new task is riveting. My heart was pounding over the legal limit for at least ten different scenes.

Every so often a caption will appear on the screen telling how many days are left in their one year deployment. It creates a feeling of anxiety and longing in the viewer. We want these men to succeed and make it out alive. But do they want to? The movie’s opening quote says differently. “The rush of battle is often a potent and lethal addiction, for war is a drug.”

The movie is directed by top-notch director Kathryn Bigelow, who also directed the fantastic futuristic James Cameron-written thriller Strange Days (1995) starring Ralph Fiennes. Fiennes also shows up in this film along with other big-names Guy Pearce and David Morse. Their scenes are scattered throughout the movie and only last for a few minutes, Morse’s for only a few seconds – which was a bit confusing to me. Why not utilize these actors’ talents in bigger roles?

Overall, The Hurt Locker breathes new life into a somewhat tired war genre. This is by far the best Iraq War movie I have seen in recent years, if not the best war movie of the decade. The intense nail-biting scenes and the overall pro-war message of the film hopefully will leave a lasting impact in you as it did me.

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