The Hurt Locker

Hurt Locker Poster

The Hurt Locker

Death is often on minds along the violent war-stricken streets of Iraq. The notion is even more intense for the special American bomb squad units that diffuse bombs. The people, events and details surrounding these most dangerous missions are the elements that make up the powerhouse film “The Hurt Locker,” which keeps the audience members on the edge of their seats.

Is the information from a credible source? Strangers are all possible terrorists. Every time the special soldier in the protective bomb suit walks cautiously towards the site of the probable bomb, leaving his unit behind him, anything can happen. Snipers could be waiting to take this soldier out. Other IEDs, (Improvised Explosive Devices) could be hidden nearby waiting to be stepped on. BOOM! There’s an eerie silence except for the sergeant staying in communication with the bomb specialist. The film expresses how important this relationship can be and how this type of unit may let off some much needed steam after their mission.

Adding life to the characters is an amazing cast lead by Jeremy Renner as Staff Sergeant Will James, a reckless soldier that attacks his most pressured job without thinking about it. After a few jobs in this new unit, James feels the need to go deeper after the terrorists when he believes he found a boy dead that he had befriended earlier.

Although James is rather reckless at times, he's a very good soldier that will look out for another soldier in need. In one scene another member of their bomb unit, Specialist Owen Eldridge played by Brian Geraghty, is scared of dying as their company is stranded with a British company in the middle of the desert. They're being picked off one by one by nearby insurgents. The ammo won't load properly into their gun and Eldridge can't complete a simple task of cleaning off the blood on the ammo. James walks Eldridge through the process of spitting and washing the ammo and calming him down.

Anthony Mackie plays Sergeant JT Sanborn, a stern by-the-book type whom contemplates getting rid of James due to his crazy reckless personality that could get their entire unit killed.

The lead cast, the driving force, is supported by the likes of Guy Pearce, Ralph Fiennes, David Morse and Evangeline Lilly. Lilly plays Connie James, Sergeant James' wife whom mostly asks him to go find cereal while they're in the grocery store. Lilly's role may upset the hundreds of starving female actors out there whom are 'Lost' trying to get their career break.

The film is a great insight to the depth of pain these men conceal on a daily basis and how each soldier responds to the intense pressures of working in a bomb squad along Iraqi streets paved with hidden IEDs, shady characters and the ugliness of war. At some point the job becomes too much. Soldiers can blow up emotionally or physically...for real.

“The Hurt Locker” is a beautifully crafted must-see film written by Mark Boal and directed by Kathryn Bigelow. Bigelow has had some acclaim having directed “K-19: The Widowmaker,” “Strange Days,” “Point Break,” and “Blue Steel” which she also co-wrote. “The Hurt Locker” will most likely change her Hollywood status as it is definitely an Oscar-worthy film.

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