The Hurt Locker (2008)

[Somehow, I missed to review this when I actually saw it, so you’re getting a bonus review today.]

The Hurt Locker is Kathryn Bigelow‘s newest movie, starring Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, David Morse, Guy Pearce and Ralph Fiennes.

Iraq. After the accidental death of one of their team (Guy Pearce), Sgt. Sanborn (Anthony Mackie) and Specialist Eldridge (Brian Geraghty) get a new member in their bomb squad – Sgt. James (Jeremy Renner). Though James is an exceptional bomb defuser, he’s also a crazy risk taker, which puts the team under considerable strain.

The Hurt Locker says things about war that are rarely said, which makes it an important film. The cast is really good, too but the movie has its lengths and I just can’t stand the shaky cam.

The Hurt Locker is one of those movies where you think afterwards, “good that I have seen it. And that I’ll never have to see it again.” It’s not a bad film and in fact it was much less emotionally gruelling than I thought it would be [which is not to say that it’s a feel good movie, but I thought I would cry my way through it and I didn’t cry at all], but it’s no cinematic masterpiece. In fact, this is a movie where the content makes the show – not the film itself.

That’s also the reason this movie is so important (apart from the fact that it made the first woman ever win a oscar for directing a movie; even if, imo, there were better directed movies out there): It talks about war in a way that is mostly ignored by other movies/pop culture in general. Basically, the tagline says it all: War is a drug. The film is a variation of trips different soldiers experience differently.
Since war is usually portrayed as either the ultimate evil that destroys people or a glorious fight for your values (depending on your political leaning), this was an interesting viewpoint to get.

The cast was great, especially Jeremy Renner, but also his team mates, Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty. And the short appearances by Guy Pearce and Ralph Fiennes were great, too.

But there was so much shaky cam. And I know why people use shaky cam [to give a sense of being along for the ride, to immerse the audience, to convey the insecurity of the situation]. For me it just has the complete opposite effect of pulling me out of the story, of making me seasick and of making me hate. HATE WITH THE FIERY PASSION OF FIVE HUNDRED SUNS. Seriously unnecessary and awful.

Summarising: An interesting movie that has interesting things to say but that certainly won’t become a rewatch favourite of mine.

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