Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Movie Reviews: THE HURT LOCKER
THE HURT LOCKER
Based on the personal wartime experiences of journalist Mark Boal (who adapted his experiences with a bomb squad into a fact-based, yet fictional story), director Kathryn Bigelow's Iraq War-set action thriller The Hurt Locker presents the conflict in the Middle East from the perspective of those who witnessed the fighting firsthand -- the soldiers. As an elite Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal team tactfully navigates the streets of present-day Iraq, they face the constant threat of death from incoming bombs and sharp-shooting snipers. In Baghdad, roadside bombs are a common danger. The Army is working to make the city a safer place for Americans and Iraqis, so when it comes to dismantling IEDs (improvised explosive devices) the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) crew is always on their game. But protecting the public isn't easy when there's no room for error, and every second spent dismantling a bomb is another second spent flirting with death. Now, as three fearless bomb technicians take on the most dangerous job in Baghdad, it's only a matter of time before one of them gets sent to "the hurt locker."
Cast: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Guy Pearce, Ralph Fiennes.
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Release Date: ..Jun 26, 2009..
Rated R for language and war violence
Runtime: 2 hr. 11 min.
Genres: Action, Drama, Thriller
Kathryn Bigelow’s tension filled The Hurt Locker is an excellently crafted film even if it becomes a war of attrition by the finale. From the opening sequence, Bigelow ratchets up the tension to 11 and, outside of a few scenes, never really lets up. It’s the type of film that never really lets you breathe as it’s a succession of high stress moments after another. Bigelow does a wonderful job of capturing the tension by framing and shooting scenes so that everything has a sense of immediacy. The film would be a failure if the cast didn’t come off as believable, luckily this cast, made up of working actors not stars, is more than up to the task. Jeremy Renner leaves a strong impression with his work here. Renner gives his character a definite sense of authenticity while never allowing his character to come off as clichéd, something the script falls into later in the film. Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty are equally strong in their performances. The film is almost entirely limited to these 3 men and they share a great chemistry throughout. Effective cameos from name actors such as Ralph Fiennes, Guy Pierce and David Morse add to the overall quality of the film and they keep the audience off balance with unexpected situations or resolutions. If there are a few miscues they limited to the script, as it heads towards its conclusions some situations and relationships start to come off as artificially generated and lack the authenticity of film. It’s nothing horrible but noticeable. The Hurt Locker avoids any political leanings and focuses almost primarily on the individuals that trudge through the Iraq conflict. It’s a film that feels every minute of its 2 hour plus run time and that’s not really a bad thing.