The Hurt Locker (2009)
Casualty of Warfare
Unlike the movies, war isn't always glamorous or pretty. There's no "rah, rah, go get' em boys" type speech, nor is there always a happy ending. It can be confusing, and strenuous on both the body and mind. It can even be like an addiction, where some men lose their sanity, in the midst of combat. As the path of war is never clear, many men risk their lives as there is no guarantee that any of them shall come back. If you can imagine such a harsh and cruel reality, then you've entered into the world of "The Hurt Locker."
The movie essentially follows an Elite Army Bomb Squad, set in the current War in Iraq, mixed up in a "cat and mouse" game, where anyone could be a potential enemy. Every object could be or contain a deadly bomb, and getting out alive is always a gamble. Lead by their new sergeant, William James, who surprises his two subordinates with his urban combat style and recklessness to danger. James continuously shows little fear when it comes to death, as it causes problems for his unit to have to control him. However, his reckless exploits, and the element of danger lurking around each corner, drives everyone close to the edge.
Kathryn Bigelow does an excellent job capturing the cold and harsh realities of modern warfare. As it seems Kathryn and writer, Mark Boal, really did their homework on this. Not only making every scene and set up authentic as humanly possible, but giving it a gritty real world type feel to it. Cutting away from the typical Hollywood cliche drama, but rather allowing for the harsh environment of war set the tone instead. Indeed, everything from the uniforms to the weaponry, and how the actors carried out military protocol was very realistic, to say the least. Indeed, "The Hurt Locker" is by far one of the most realistic war movies ever made.
Sadly, the story doesn't delve into the main protagonist's persona, as one would hope. As it only uses two or three scenes, to really dive into SFC William James' (Jeremy Renner) background. In which to allow the audience, to understand why William is such a risk taking hot shot, despite knowing he has a family to come home too. Even around the ending, when William tries to explain why he's such a hot shot, during their routine missions, he's unable to come up with any kind of real answer to that. Which is exactly how the audience feels, as it doesn't provide that clear connection so the viewer can figure out the main protagonist's journey. Often, coming off as vague. However, that's not to say this is a bad movie by any means.
I thought the actors in this movie played their parts rather well. Despite some bad dialogue, the actors were able to fill in their perspective roles nicely. Offering realism to their characters, without resorting to over dramatization. Indeed, each actor provides just the right amount of emotion, to make their characters believable and grounded.
Although "The Hurt Locker" does fall short on character development and poor dialogue, at times, it's still one of the best war movies out there. As I loved how they were able to bring that realism about modern warfare, and allow for the environment itself to set the tone. Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal really did their homework, on the military, as everything came off as authentic. Overall, "The Hurt Locker" is a must see film for anyone that loves realistic war based movies.
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