The Hurt Locker

“The rush of battle is often a potent and lethal addiction, for war is a drug” – Chris Hedges 

Imagine the feeling you get when you are waiting for something to happen. The anticipation building up in the pit of your stomach. Your hands in tight fists showing white knuckles. The Hurt Locker is 131 minutes of that feeling. An intense and real war film that keeps the viewer in a constant state of worry and stress. You might be thinking “Why would I watch that?” Because it is a profoundly moving film. That’s why. This movie is outstanding and the message being conveyed is so clearly communicated. This movie takes a subject that makes people uncomfortable and shoves it in our faces. We are forced to see the ugliness of war.

With tremendous performances by all involved, this movie is believable to an unsettling degree. Director Kathryn Bigelow took home the first Oscar for best director ever to be given to a woman in history. This makes perfect sense if you’ve seen the film, even though it is a shame that she was the first female to win best director when so many other impressive women came before her. But I digress…

The Hurt Locker follows the story of an elite Army bomb squad. Sergeant First Class William James (Renner) makes disarming giant bombs look like a day at the park. His confident – sometimes overconfident – personality gets him in trouble one or two times, but he always manages to get the job done.

Working with him are Sergeant JT Sanborn (Anthony Mackie) and Specialist Owen Eldridge (Brian Geraghty). Sanborn and Eldridge question the manner in which James conducts himself. Doing reckless things like removing his headset and bomb suit when disarming a car with a trunk full of bombs. James says “There’s enough bang in there to blow us all to Jesus. If I’m gonna die, I want to die comfortable.” as he’s removing his bomb suit. With quips like this one and a few others, there is just enough lighthearted banter to keep the audience themselves from exploding.

I really cannot say enough good about this movie. It is gritty and mean and completely disregards the ideological standards that Hollywood typically sets for films of this nature. The editing and cinematography are enough to get me to watch this over and over again. Not mention the explosive – no pun intended – performances from the actors.

Though it is a difficult film to watch, The Hurt Locker makes a point and drives it home so well. War is ugly. This movie doesn’t paint a pretty picture of the situation and it is clear that Hollywood didn’t get its pandering hands all over it. You may want to cover your eyes, but definitely watch The Hurt Locker and try to keep your eyes open as much as possible. You’ll be glad you did.

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