Sunday, January 24, 2010
For those of you who aren't familiar with this movie, The Hurt Locker is a movie about an Army Explosive Ordinance Disposal unit during the Iraqi War who are responsible for locating and disarming bombs. Shot in 16mm, the film feels more like a documentary than an actual movie. It leaves you on the edge of your seat as you never quite know if James will deactivate the various kinds of bombs before they go off. The Disposal Unit consists of three soldiers: African-American Sergeant J.T. Sanborn who is the rational solider responsible for aiding the bomb technician as he gallantly tries to disarm the bomb; Specialist Owen Eldridge who provides the humor even as he questions whether he is cut out for the war and worried if he will live or die; and of course the best character in the movie, William James the reckless team leader responsible for actually disarming the bombs without much of a care in the world. With all the buzz about Clooney and Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart, the best performance that people will still be talking about fifteen years from now is the brilliant acting of Jeremy Renner as James. Perfectly cast, Renner seems like your everyday southern boy obsessed and passionate about his role in the madness and should win the Best Actor award even though politics and the fact that he's not a household name will hurt his chances. Bigelow also did a helluva job directing this film, and any other year she would be the first woman to win an Oscar Award for a war movie. But I think it's James Cameron's year, and Avatar is going to win the awards for Best Picture and Best Director. I recommend The Hurt Locker for people that enjoy war movies and want to get a realistic idea of how stressful and determined these bomb squads are in deactivating these weapons of destruction. Also, William James is a character who you will loathe in a good way if that makes sense. James Cameron beat me to the punch when he proclaimed that The Hurt Locker is the modern-day "Platoon". The Hurt Locker may just be one of the ten best movies about war I have ever seen.
Grade: A (Exceeded Expectations)