The Hurt Locker (2008)

The Hurt Locker
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow
Written by Mark Boal
(number 463)

Guy Pearce is in this film! I love you Guy Pearce! 😀 And oh hey, we remember Kathryn Bigelow from the awesome romp Point Break and the horrifying ordeal Zero Dark Thirty. Yay? Okay but Kathryn Bigelow has three movies on this 500 list, she’s a fantastic director why isn’t she talked about more? Her editing and cinemetography choices are stunning. Even when you’re watching something really upsetting the shots are amazing, crashing in from a mid shot to an extreme close up of the sweat on someone’s temple.

Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Ralph Fiennes, lots of big names in this film but they’re sort of sideways big, like you know of them but they’re not A list styles.

The opening sequence is amazing, although I was so sure that this movie would be a traumatic one for me I was hooked, instantly invested in the characters, their banter and the job they do. It’s sort of hard to hate American army dudes when their job is to disarm bombs and prevent them from going off.

Oh damn. Guy Pearce. Well… maybe that’s why they don’t talk about him too much in this film. Ouch. My heart was pounding, all the funny banter I just knew something was going to go bad.

Fuck okay it’s really hard to like Jeremy Renner in this film. This is a tense movie! I’m really pleased I didn’t see this in the cinemas, I would have been a tense ball of shaking, gritting teeth and rocking back and forth. As it was I paused the movie a couple of times and did other things, and concentrated on breathing deeply to keep myself a bit more on the relaxed side.

Yeah, Sergent James is a total ass. Totally assured in his own ability and focused only on that, at the expense of his relationships to the men tasked with keeping him alive. It’s really hard to justify this kind of behaviour, I mean I guess.. I have no idea what it’s actually like to be in that kind of situation, and you must ask yourself, does disarming bombs in a warzone for months and years screw with your brain? It must do. It must.

Does it make me love the people?

Yep. Even though you pretty much hate James and his crazy maverick Top Gun ways, he is shown to befriend a young Iraqi teen – although he makes some pretty off colour jokes to him, he’s still friendly with the kid and gives him cash for dvds and so on. So that makes it all the more of a smack on the face later on when a kid who James believes is the same one, is found dead, having been made into a human bomb that James must deactivate. It’s brutal, and it forces you to take his side. Very clever choices made there.

Especially the weirdness when the kid turns up again…

I loved Sanborn right off, maybe because I recognised him as a young Falcon from The Winter Soldier, but more likely since he starts the movie off as the voice of reason in a crazy situation.

Bechdel test: No named women! No, there’s one: Evangeline Lily’s Connie, who speaks only to James and exists only to show that he was once in love, she divorced him but still lives in their house and raises their son. When James tries to talk to her about Iraq she smiles and prepares food for him. Uh… huh.

Best line:

Sergeant JT Sanborn: [as James approaches unexploded bomb] You know, these detonators misfire all the time.
Spc. Owen Eldridge: What are you doing?
Sergeant JT Sanborn: I’m just saying shit happens, they misfire.
Spc. Owen Eldridge: He’d be obliterated to nothing.
Sergeant JT Sanborn: His helmet would be left. You could have that. Little specs of hair charred on the inside.
Spc. Owen Eldridge: Yeah. There’d be half a helmet somewhere, bits of hair.
Sergeant JT Sanborn: Have to ask for a change in technique and protocol, and make sure this type of accident never happen again, you know? You’d have to write the report.
Spc. Owen Eldridge: Are you serious?
Sergeant JT Sanborn: I can’t write it.

State of Mind: That was without a doubt a beautifully made and expertly crafted movie. But good lord was it hard to watch. I must now play some katamari to unwind.

Watched movie count


One thought on “The Hurt Locker (2008)

  1. Wow this does sound like an incredible film. Great review, but I’m exactly 50% torn on whether i will actually watch it in the end. It sounds amazing and yet harrowing!

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