Tuesday, September 01, 2009

War is a Drug. Get addicted with The Hurt Locker

I don’t watch The Colbert Report for Sir Steven’s glowing movie reviews, but I do remember Kathryn Bigelow being on a few weeks back. I recall her as director for Point Break, a classic but ultimately unfulfilling movie and the far more substantial tale of K-19: The Widowmaker. Colbert interviewed her in his usual manner, questioning her ability as a woman to direct what is essentially a guys action movie. Ultimately however through her description of the movie and the clip that was shown – I was sold once I saw the quality of the explosions and I was hoping it wasn’t going to be another whining liberal tirade as a lot of these movies tend to be.

The Hurt Locker is purely about the mentality of the soldiers with one of the most unenviable duties in the world – Explosive Ordnance Disposal [EOD]. Are they just ice-cool or raving lunatics? Well this movie is well written, acted and directed enough for you to make up your own mind.

Jeremy Renner [28 Weeks Later, S.W.A.T.] plays Staff Sergeant William James, team leader and EOD technician who arrives to command Bravo Company for it's final 39 days before they're rotated out. The team consists of himself and his two subordinates, Sergeant J.T. Sanborn [Anthony Mackie of Eagle Eye and The Manchurian Candidate] and Specialist Owen Eldridge [Brian Geraghty] and they quickly learn that Jones is a reckless maverick that will most likely get them killed. These three powerful flawless performers head a cast that was enhanced by actual Iraqi refugees in Jordan and included cameo appearances from Guy Pearce, Ralph Fiennes and the most excellent David Morse as Colonel Reed delivering an exceptional performance that’s one of the many highlights of the movie.

The movie is not without faults; one obvious issue would be that blood would not stop the operation of an M82A1 Barrett sniper rifle. Then there was the complete lack of backup for the EOD team whole driving around Baghdad when in reality there'd be a quick reaction force of three or more Humvees with associated personnel. Bigelow's final mistake was framing her picture in 2004, which predates the iPod touch, YouTube, the Xbox 360 & Gears of War as well as more obviously the ACU [Army Combat Uniform] which did not begin fielding until February 2005 but all feature in this movie. Admittedly, these wouldn't be picked up by everyone but they were enough to tarnish my personal experience ever so slightly.

Issues aside, I exited this movie's cinema on Saturday with hope, a hope that more movies can be made to this standard, where neither left nor right wing agendas are forced upon an audience that just doesn't give a shit about policy, they just want to see a good movie as do I at the end of the day. Bigelow has captured the essence of war flawlessly, utilising the camera work of Barry Ackroyd [The Wind That Shakes the Barley] from a script by Mark Boal who wrote the movie after he himself was embedded as a journalist with the real EOD teams. The tension is sharp, the violence visceral and the few moments of gore are shockingly authentic. This is a movie that will be remembered with Black Hawk Down, Saving Private Ryan and Full Metal Jacket.

Final Verdict: The Hurt Locker is thus far, the greatest film made about the war in Iraq.

Colonel Creedon Rating: *****


Civilian Overseer said...

"The Hurt Locker is thus far, the greatest film made about the war in Iraq."

Does it beat out "Three Kings" for the title of greatest movie about a war in Iraq or is it just the greatest movie about this war in Iraq?

Civilian Overseer said...

Colonel, this is like picking on a kitten, Fight Back!

Major General Creedon said...

Three Kings is a load of shite aprat from the scene where Clooney describes the anatomoy of bullet penetration. This is the greatest movie about both wars in Iraq full stop. It's better than, Battle for Haditha, A Line In the Sand, The Kingdom, Stop Loss, Lions for Lambs, Home of the Brave, Jarhead and Redacted most of all which are anti-war liberal propaganda.

The current Iraq war has been far better represented on TV with Over There and Generation Kill. Now we finally have a good movie to stand with them.

I hope to soon seek out "Taking Chance", a movie about Lt.Col. Mike Strobl who escorts the body of one of his fallen Marines home.

Constance said...

WHAT! You like to pick on kittens?

Civilian Overseer said...

Connie, I never said that I liked to pick on kittens, that said, I did authorise research into the the subject just to establish a scientifically proven baseline for the Colonel's prissiness. That's why was able to say with surety that the Colonel lack of fight back was like picking ona kitten. Before you ask, yes the study did include other animals rangingfrom goldfish, to kittens,to rabbits, to puppies all the way up the food change to someone's in the science departments Aunt Mildrew. Given how much I hate groundless metaphor, it had to be done. Someone has to defend the Queen's English.