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"The Hurt Locker" - (Grady)
Studio: Summit
Release Date:
January 12, 2010
Special Features:

(See Below)


THE HURT LOCKER is not an easy film to watch, especially for veterans. It may be about the Iraq War circa 2004, but it is essentially about WAR in general and the devastation created by this most foolish of human games not only on the countrymen of the site of the killing but also on the soldiers from all countries who bond to fight the 'enemy': as Pogo said in a long ago war 'We have met the enemy and he is us'. Kathryn Bigelow has accomplished the unthinkable - she has created a small, tense, breathless re-enactment of a group of men (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) whose sense of mission and sense of family and disillusion are as fragile as the homemade human and other bombs they render safe. In a minimal but terse script by Mark Boal the words are less important than the expressions on the actors faces, and with a cast as fine as this, those statements are more powerful than words.***

The scene is Baghdad in 2004 and we watch as an EOD specialist Thompson (Guy Pierce), a man for whom the group - namely Sanborn (Anthony Mackie) and Eldridge (Brian Geraghty) - has profound respect and love, is blown up in the first minutes of the film. Thompson is replaced by an obsessed EOD specialist with a record of over 800 bombs rendered safe, one William James (Jeremy Renner) who keeps his mementos of wasted bombs in his 'hurt locker' under his bed. The film deals with the gradual adjustment of the men to this new, obsessed EOD man as the group faces horrendous encounters with the Iraqis, both adults and children. There are surprise cameos by David Morse and by Ralph Fiennes, but they don't last long as characters. What lasts is the interdependency among the men locked into a mission more terrifying than can be imagined.***

Jeremy Renner delivers a finely nuanced performance of a man whose adrenaline rush with his job makes him a unique sort of being, yet a man who is capable of the most tender of responses. Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty are also superb in roles that in other actors' hands may have become trite.***

Special Features:

Audio Commentary With Director katherine Bigelow And Mark Boal; The Hurt Locker: Behind The Scenes; Image Gallery.

Final Words:

This is an important film for all of us to see - especially now, as war escalates over the globe. Kathryn Bigelow deserves the Oscar for bringing this stunning event to the screen.


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