Monday, February 29, 2016

Movie Monday – The Hurt Locker (2008)


The movie follows Sergeant James who is a bomb disposal technician during the Iraq War.  Basically, his team shows up at a suspected improvised explosive device, James figures out how to disarm it, they go to the next one.

James is rather reckless, which causes some friction in his team.  Especially when, at James’ prodding, they go after a bomber instead of letting other troops do it.  This results in one of them being captured, and getting shot when the others rescue him. 

James finally finishes his tour and returns home to his wife and son.  But the rush of war and the need for skilled bomb technicians draws him back for another tour.


I’ve never served in the military, but I do understand that a documentary made with actual war footage barely scratches the surface of what war is like.  And a fictional movie still needs movie elements, like a plot.  But war never goes from Plot Point A to Plot Point B and so on.  So you can either have as real as it can get war documentary, or you can have a war movie.  The Hurt Locker seems to try to go somewhere in the middle.  Because there aren’t that many plot points in it.  It’s more like a series of scenes, which kind of fits in with how in war you never know what’s going to happen day to day.  But there are also standard movie clichés.  For example, at one point this officer goes with them to see how things really are.  As soon as that happens, you know he’s going to die.  Whenever he’s onscreen, you’re wondering when is it going to happen, and then you get to a point and you go, “Oh, there’s a bomb right there,” and then three seconds later, Boom. 

I know this is a Best Picture, but I’m not sure why.  I was really interested when it started, but then I got annoyed with the disjointed aspect of it.  And I know that’s supposed to fit in with “How war actually is,” but by the end I felt I would have rather watched a documentary about real bomb disposal people.

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