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The Hurt Locker

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The Hurt Locker

Summit Ent.

R 128 min


The last few years have been a new era for war movies.

From WW2 heroism where the Americans whip up on the bad guys to the “war is crazy” series of Viet Nam flicks to the depressing desert films of the Iraq era where it always seems the Americans are the bad guys.

Directed by James Cameron’s ex wife Katherine Bigelow THE HURT LOCKER is an admitted anti war film but also a study of an adrenaline junkie Sgt Will James (Jeremy Renner) who doesn’t seem to be able to relate to normal human feelings, only the thrill of the near death experience that’s part and parcel of his assignment as a warhead and explosives neutralizer.

The suspense as he de activates a deadly bomb is pretty strong and well filmed. Unfortunately that hook gets repeated beyond its suspense value.

Bigelow admits to have been hooked on violent films as a youngster viewing Sam Peckinpah’s THE WILD BUNCH, and it shows right down to the slow mo explosions and gunfire. But that’s when the overly pensive mood takes over and slows the film down far too much.

I understand that war is likely futile violent and seemingly pointless. I understand that Sgt. James is a damaged human being, either by his own nature or by the pressures of war. Almost like a lifelong prison inmate this soldier just can’t cope in the mundane real world. I personally found this one to be overly depressing and slow, but apparently I’m in a minority. I think the anti war message is the main reason this one wound up on the best picture list.

See for yourselves.






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