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The Hurt Locker

Yes, but mine is a much milder recommendation than those mentioned on the poster.

The Hurt Locker is one of those movies that you need to hunt down. It has supposedly expanded from limited into wide release, and yet I had to visit a whole in the wall art house in order to see this "...near-perfect...", "...ferociously suspenseful...", "...full-tilt action picture." To say I was disappointed would be an overstatement, but not nearly as big an overstatement as "full-tilt action." I'm 100% sure that the reason I didn't LOVE this movie was because I was expecting God on the screen and what I got was a movie. A good movie... but still, just a movie.

The performances were perfect. If it weren't so early in the year and this wasn't such a limited release film, I'd say Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie are shoe-ins for acting nods at the 2009 Oscars. Brian Geraghty does a good job playing the same character he always seems to play (see The Guardian and Jarhead... actually, don't see The Guardian). You also get super short performances from RaLph Fiennes, Guy Pearce, and David Morse... but the thing that took me completely out of the movie was the casting of Evangeline Lilly. She makes her American, credited, feature film debut, portraying a character that is the complete opposite of her character on Lost, a role that she has been invested in for the last 5 years. I just kept thinking, "Kate wouldn't say that".

At the end of the day, The Hurt Locker is a very well made movie. I do feel like it's just a series of vignettes, bringing stories that the writer heard about military bomb specialists together into one movie. The story was slightly lacking and was only brought together due to the strong direction and acting.

Definitely check The Hurt Locker out if it comes to a theatre near you, but you shouldn't go out of your way to seek it out. It'll be out on DVD before awards season so you'll be able to see the performances soon enough, and that's really the only reason that someone might confuse this for a "near-perfect movie".

1 comment:

sandman21 said...

For me the quality of the movie was actually hard to appreciate due to the editing and camera style. It's hard to overstate, but the film has an unending series of close ups with little to no dialogue. Now I realize that in such scenes the actors faces and the surrounding are supposed to tell the story, however I found it less of a narrative, and more of an annoying voyeuristic exercise. There's one scene in particular (RIP Ralph Fiennes) where one of the soldiers is engaged in a back and forth sniper gunfight. I understand that such battles in reality consist of great patience and skill. However, the unending scene went on for about a full 5 minutes after the U.S. soldiers had successfully killed the insurgents!!! It fucking went on and on alternating between shots of the solider peering at the dead insurgent through his sniper scope, and another soldier trying to get a pack of juicy-juice to drink!!!

I think that if you're aware that was is terrible and that terrible things happen in Iraq everyday, there's little to nothing to gain from seeing this movie.