“The Hurt Locker” Review

Watching The Hurt Locker is a nervous experience. It’s about an American explosive ordnance disposal team in Iraq. They defuse bombs. Big ones. That’s bad enough. But half the time they don’t know if the bomb has a timer; if one of the civilian spectators in the neighbourhood has a remote to set off the bomb; if a sniper is going to shoot at them; if some extremist is going to drive through the road block and blow everybody to kingdom come; or if some friendly Iraqi is going to walk up while all this is going on and say, “Hey, guys, where are you from?” Bad timing Mr. Friendly Iraqi. It’s just one intense situation after another, and it’s their job. It’s what they do every day. Within the first two minutes of The Hurt Locker, I felt like I was wearing the bomb suit, standing next to the bomb that’s ready to blow. The movie is pretty damn affective at making that reality real. It’s crazy.

Edward Havens writes: “To call The Hurt Locker anything less than one of the best action films to make it to the screen in many years would be a true disservice to its director, actors and technicians who made a movie that is miles above any recent movie it might be compared to.” The Hurt Locker is a high-octane action movie that relies on the psychological tension of the situations to create a rush that’s almost unbearable at times, and does so without being exploitive or glorifying. It’s a good movie.

UPDATE (July 09/09): As part of a marketing strategy, the first 8 minutes of The Hurt Locker have been made available online. It’s an intense 8 minutes that sets the tone for the rest of the movie, but watching it on a computer screen will diminish the theatrical experience. It also gives away too much.

About Phillip

Phillip Cairns is a beekeeper in St. John’s, Newfoundland, who writes about beekeeping at mudsongs.org.

2 Replies to ““The Hurt Locker” Review”

  1. I saw another movie today about the shituation in Iraq called Battle for Haditha. “The Hurt Locker” is more about the daily lives of an explosive ordnance disposal team, be it in Iraq or wherever. And although I’m sure there’s some truth to it, it’s clearly an action movie. “Battle of Haditha” is based on actual events that happened in 2005, and it feels more like a documentary than any kind of action movie. It’s basically the Iraq war version of the My Lai Massacre. It’s not a happy movie at all. If there’s any truth to any of it, though… well, what the hell can you say about it? It’s a mess, a tragedy beyond anything that’s happened in North America. It’s no wonder so many Iraqis (and the Middle East in general) hate the US. I wouldn’t be too fond of them either. I’m so glad the nightmare of George W. Bush is over. Hopefully, the situation will improve now that he and his buddies aren’t in charge any more. What a nightmare.

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