Movie Reviews this week looks at the Oscar-winning, hard-hitting Iraq war drama The Hurt Locker. It stars Jeremy Renner (28 weeks later) as Sergeant First Class William James, an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) bomb disposal expert, who has been sent into Bravo Company, at Camp Victory. We join the movie as Staff Sergeant Matt Thompson played by Guy Pearce (Memento) along with Sergeant JT Sanborn played by Anthony Mackie (Half Nelson), and Specialist Owen Eldrigge played by Brian Geraghty (Bobby), are attempting to disarm an IED, that has been put there to kill and maim as many civil and military personnel as possible, Thompson is the bomb expert while the other two soldiers are to watch for any problems, ie anyone interfering and to keep the people relatively safe.
Unfortunately things do not go as planned, and James soon joins Bravo Company. However his innovative or careful (as his fellow soldiers regard it) methods at bomb disarming do not go too well with Sanborn and Elridge, there is a memorable scene where Elridge tells one of his command officers, after he asks how he is doing, he says that his team leader is inspired, and mentions sarcastically that his team leader is going to get him killed, the ruling officer, that he should not be having these kinds of thoughts, that war is a one in a lifetime opportunity, as Elridge looks widely, the audience can not help wondering at the indirect sarcasm in that statement, as Elridge tells asks him if he knows what he is and the other men do every day, his command officer states that he has had his time on the field, to which Elridge sarcastically asks “Where was that … Yale”?
Matters come to a heated exchange when James attempts to disarm a bomb, that is extremely complicated, removes his bomb suit, so as to get comfortable, as he puts it “If I am going to die today I might as well die comfy” even going as far as to throw away his radio as Sanborn constantly tells him that there are “too many eyes” watching them and they have to move. We get a little glimpse at the difficult problems facing the military in Iraq, attempting to liaison with the local population (there is a charming boy who sells DVDs that has made friends with some of the soldiers; nicknamed Becks; who James gets friendly with over a game of soccer, and the ice is broken over his namesake, Beckham, but the boy states he is much better than Beckham), often meeting language barriers, and at the same time not trying to seem dictatorial, but requiring them to keep at a safe distance while they try and do their job.
The acting in the Hurt Locker is top-notch all the way, and the movie is shot almost documentary style, with close-ups of the soldiers and the mass of emotions they go through during many tense moments. You can see why this is the first movie to have a woman, Kathryn Bigelow winning the Best Director Oscar. Movie Reviews is constantly updated with good reviews of great movies that are a must see.