The Hurt Locker (2009)

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A US army bomb disposal expert makes waves in his new unit because of his Gung Ho attitude.

The Hurt Locker is an interesting war film, mainly because its indie sensibilities make it a very unusual treatment of this subject for a product of the US movie making industry. It’s quite a reserved, unsentimental film about the impact of a “war” that has no visible enemy; in not quite the same way as Jarhead in which the soldiers just could not find an army to face, but because the enemy hides itself in plain sight amongst the innocent population. This obviously causes great conflict within the soldiers, always unsure whether to fire or not to fire and seemingly never able to punish the perpetrators of the atrocities they witness on a daily basis. This thankfully means that heavy-handed patriotism is avoided, the film instead concentrating on the effects of the situation on each individual and the fine performances all round make for an interesting character study. The “battle” sequences are also very well staged and it is technically very accomplished on every level. The only faux pas for me was the closing scene in which “our hero” is striding purposefully back down a Baghdad road to a heavy metal riff which was a little too John Waynesque and seemed to be at odds with the tone of the of the rest of the film.

But otherwise The Hurt Locker is a quality war film about a very sensitive subject.

7.5/10

 

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