|©2008 Summit Entertainment|
[EDITED 16 March 2016]
Kathryn Bigelow (Oscar © Winner, Best Achievement in Directing)
Mark Boal (Oscar © Winner, Best Original Screenplay)
Jeremy Renner (The Town), Anthony Mackie (Notorious), Brian Geraghty (Jarhead), Guy Pierce (Memento), Ralph Fiennes (the noseless one in the Harry Potter movies), and Saint Elsewhere's David Morse.
Sergeant First Class William James (Renner) becomes team leader of an Army bomb squad in Iraq in 2004. He breaks rules and constantly puts himself and his team at risk, and we often wonder when he is being noble and when he is merely being reckless.
Watching The Hurt Locker, I kept in mind the criticisms I had heard in 2009 (its year of release in the US) from some active and retired military, that real bomb squad personnel would not be, or be allowed to be, so reckless. However SFC James is presented as an anomaly from the beginning, so if we accept higher-up Colonel Reed (David Morse) as another anomaly (and pretend for two hours and change that there are no safeguards against such anomalies in our military), we're on our way to a willing suspension of our disbelief. From a movie-making perspective, though, the most likely reason for SFC James' atypical bravado is the same reason the CSIs on CBS all forgot they weren't detectives and chased down suspects and interrogated them: it was more exciting that way. The film is exciting, and well acted. The disputed accuracy of its portrayal of Army bomb squads notwithstanding, it also has the feel of reality, perhaps owing to the acting, directing, editing, and heck, maybe the sound work too.
Why You Should See It
Why You Should Avoid It