From visionary filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow, "The Hurt Locker" is an intense portrayal of elite soldiers who have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world: disarming bombs in the heat of combat.
In a career spanning over 20 years, director Kathryn Bigelow has made one great film ('Point Break') and an enjoyable cult vampire movie ('Near Dark'). But 'The Hurt Locker' or 'Iraq: The Video Game', is cringe worthy, Zionist drivel. Its banal spiel touts the lie that war is fun and without consequence for the invaders: a viable alternative to the tedium of U.S. suburban life. It follows the exploits of an occupation bomb disposal unit in Iraq complete with cut out military caricatures like the reckless maverick, the straight laced soldier and the guys who'd like to get back home to their gals. 'The Hurt Locker' leaves no cliché unturned in its bid for a total whitewash and doesn't even drive past 'Abu Ghraib' should the mere sight of it remind an audience of Uncle Sam and Saul's unspeakable crimes. Screenwriter Mark Boal, an embedded (i.e. pointless) journalist for 'Playboy' magazine (you couldn't make this up) churns out a script which rings hollow at every turn, for I seriously doubt any patriotic Iraqi would have ever uttered the line: "I am very pleased to see CIA in my home".
'Harsh Times' and 'Redacted' are the only recent American films about war to have come close to accurately depicting the perverse paradigm of an occupying power in its death throes. Alas, the former is still very underrated (despite an excellent performance by Christian Bale) whilst the latter was censored and suppressed by the U.S. government but did well on DVD. The simple fact is that we'll probably have to wait at least five years after the conflict before any serious Iraq war film is made; I don't know who'll direct such a film or from which country it'll originate but I can say with some confidence that 'The Hurt Locker' certainly isn't that film. Don't believe the hype.
In the interests of balance, it's only fair that I mention that Kathryn Bigelow recently issued the following statement: "I hope that in some small way this film can begin a debate and bring closure to this conflict".
Kathryn Bigelow has managed to make an intelligent film about the Iraq war by keeping it very simple. Instead of taking an arms-crossed attitude to the politics of the war, interweaving clips of George Bush's television cock-ups while replaying images of soldiers in pain, this steers away from this area of blame and the calling for retribution. The film does contain scenes where soldiers are in distress or turmoil, but there is never once a hint of a political stance. Never is the knife plunged and twisted in the stomachs of Bush and Blair. This isn't about presidential stupidity or even the naivety of governments. The Hurt Locker concentrates on the soldiers and how the war experience is for them. They live it and breathe it, and in the case of one particular soldier, thrive on it.
This standout soldier is SSgt. William James (played faultlessly by the relatively unknown Jeremy Renner), who takes the "war is a drug" saying to searing levels. He's drafted in when a Bomb squad officer is killed when trying to deactivate a bomb on a street in Baghdad (which gives us a very short appearance by Guy Pearce). But James's reckless daring and uncompromised lack of fear start to chafe with the two other members of his team, particularly Sgt Sanborn (Anthony Mackie).
The movie feels like a long strand of superbly judged moments of suspense and tension. This is not a criticism, as Kathryn Bigelow uses these scenes to create a cinematic tapestry of fear and excitement - the two principle emotions the bomb-disposal squad have to muster to their advantage. Blistering, nerve-shredding and utterly brilliant, this must rank as one of the best films made about the experience of war and how it inhabits those who taste it.
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Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play. The Hurt Locker presents an intense and unflinching portrayal of elite soldiers who have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world: disarming bombs in the heat of combat. When a new sergeant, James, takes over a highly trained bomb disposal team amidst violent conflict, he surprises his two subordinates, Sanborn and Eldridge, by recklessly plunging them into a deadly game of urban combat. James behaves as if he's indifferent to death. As the men struggle to control their wild new leader, the city explodes into chaos, and James' true character reveals itself in a way that will change each man forever. Winner of the BAFTA Awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing and Best Sound. Winner of the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director (Kathryn Bigelow), Best Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Sound Mixing & Best Sound Editing. Behind the Scenes Interviews with Cast and Crew Photo Gallery Backstage Actors Ralph Fiennes, Evangeline Lilly, Christian Camargo, David Morse, Guy Pearce, Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Sam Redford, Suhail Aldabbach, Christopher Sayegh & Nabil Koni Director Kathryn Bigelow Certificate 15 years and over Year 2008 Screen Widescreen Languages English - DTS-HD Master Audio (5.1) Subtitles English for the hearing impaired Duration 2 hours and 11 minutes (approx)
Tense and gritty war film from director Kathryn Bigelow, following the lives of an army bomb disposal squad in war-torn Iraq. Having to look death in the face daily, the soldiers of an elite ordnance disposal team struggle to accept their new sergeant, William James (Jeremy Renner), when he risks their lives with his reckless behavior. With the men trying to come to terms with their new leader, their patrols become increasingly hazardous, as a sudden escalation in the violence leads them to confront the most dangerous assignment of their tour. After winning six awards at the 2010 BAFTAs, the film went on to win another six at the Oscars, including Best Film, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.