War is a drug. Nobody knows that better than Staff Sergeant James, head of an elite squad of soldiers tasked with disarming bombs in the heat of combat. To do this nerve shredding job, it’s not enough to be the best: you have to thrive in a zone where the margin of error is zero, think as diabolically as a bomb maker, and somehow survive with your body and soul intact. Powerfully realistic, action packed, unrelenting and intense, The Hurt Locker has been hailed by critics as “an adrenaline soaked tour de force” and “on the of the great war movies” (DVD)
Add this movie to the very short list of movies that as the credits rolled, the first words out of my mouth were “holy shit.” (the first two being Black Swan and Inception) This movie completely and totally deserved its Oscar win. Katheryn Bigelow really knocked this one out of the park. She employs the ever popular shaky camera technique, but it really works for this one, shots actually in the scope of a gun, or the ones that were in complete darkness and all you could hear was breathing. Terrifying. I have a feeling that this will be the defining movie of the Iraq War. Not only does this movie focus on the actual battle aspects, but you see how the soldiers themselves cope with everything. Some freak out, some bottle it inside, others ignore it, but they all have to get through it. The bomb disarming scenes were so intense I caught myself holding my breath a few times. Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie are fantastic as two of the squad, their performances were just so genuine and showed really the two sides of a soldier. The all business side out in the field, and the human side after all is said and done. An extremely well done, emotionally exhausting movie, that all Americans should see.
Ok, so the end pretty much broke my heart. I’m glad they threw in the quote about war being a drug in the beginning or I would have had a harder time understanding why he went back. Although Katheryn Bigelow does a good job with the stark contrast between the the Iraq scene to the quick cut to the supermarket, and the whole bit with him standing there staring at cereal. But how he was basically saying he loved being at war more than he loved his own son. That’s what broke my heart. I’m not going to try to get political here, but every movie I have seen, or even stories or documentaries about this war, no one comes back the same, what is it about war that just completely changes a person to a different person from when they left? Maybe that is a statement that Bigelow was trying to make. Because at the end, when it said there was a year left, that was when the words holy shit came out of my mouth.
9.5/10 I really want to give this movie a 10. But honestly, it’s so emotionally exhausting, you’ll only want to watch it once. So amazing though.