Movie Review: The Hurt Locker (Guy Pierce, Brian Geraghty, Anthony Mackie, Jeremy Renner) 2009

Posted: December 3, 2012 in Action, Drama
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Sergeant Matt Thompson is (Pierce) diffusing an IED in Najaf Iraq, he is part of the Elite Bravo company that is sent to disconnect the homemade explosive devices, before they go off. On this day, Thompson is not so lucky, he is blown up before Specialist Owen Eldridge (Geraghty) can shoot the bomb maker. Thompson’s replacement is Staff Sergeant William James (Renner) James listens to heavy metal and is turned on by the danger of diffusing IED’s just as much as his predecessor if not more.  This motley crew is led by Sergeant JT Sanborn (Anthony Mackie), but nobody listens to Sanborn much, least of all James.  He seems to be intent on leading his troops to a certain death.

James is not all macho man laughing while cheating death, he has a soft side too.  He buys dvd’s from an Iraqi boy nicknamed Beckham, and calls his wife, although he is too broken up to talk to her.  Eldridge has his own issues, he feels responsible for the death of Sergeant Thompson, so much so that he needs a psychiatrist, Sergeant John Cambridge (Christian Camargo) Eldridge goads Cambridge to get away from the base and goes out on a mission with him.  Do any of the three members of Bravo Company survive their one year rotation in Iraq?

This is a riveting, gritty movie.  Never once did I feel like I was watching a movie.  This is one of the best war movies I’ve ever seen, and surely the best Iraq war movie I’ve seen. Maybe it was because of the documentary feel of the movie.  Credit goes to director Kathryn Bigelow for the feel of this movie, she never lets go of the intensity.  The heroes go from one dangerous situation to another and another and another.  There is not a second to breathe.  Each character is different, in a likable way; Eldridge is a kid, who is being pushed over the edge mentally by the daily stress of life and death.  He is vulnerable in search of someone to mother him.  James is a devil may care type, but really enjoys his life, and is more sensitive than he would appear.  Sanborn is a quiet leader, who leads by doing.  Credit goes to the actors, who looked and acted like real soldiers.  The fact that the cast was largely unknown added to the realism.

The Hurt Locker.  Help yourself to a great war movie.

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