The Hurt Locker

The Hurt Locker, directed by Kathryn Bigelow is a refreshing approach to today’s action film. Focusing on a three-man American IED (improvised explosive device) Bomb Disposal Unit in Bravo company in the Iraq war, two of the soldiers, Staff Sergeant JT Sanborn (Anthony Mackie) and Specialist Owen Eldridge (Ben Geraghty) count down the days to go home as they barely survive the dangerous situations they are led into by a talented, but reckless Sergeant Will James (Jeremy Renner). Sergeant James continuously rubs his men the wrong way, either by ignoring their attempts to communicate with him during dangerous missions, or purposefully pushing them into dark places, with no backup, following faceless, nameless, countless, bad guys hidden in the nooks and crannies of a destitute and crumbling city.

The film progresses and develops with the characters so rarely infused into modern day thrillers, pulling the audience into a world far away from the comforts of their theater seats into dusty and garbage ridden streets lined with watchful and suspicious eyes. Every minute that goes by, the threat level rises, as each pair of hands could be holding a detonator by way of cell phone, every automobile is a potential coffin, and any conversation with a civilian is tense with miscommunication and the potential of distraction from hidden crosshairs.

Cinematographer Barry Ackroyd beautifully captures the desolate emptiness and poverty of a people ravaged and enraged by war through clean, and intense shots, and thankfully, avoids the popular Blair-Witch camera movements that confuse the audience, and lose the focus of the scene.

The Hurt Locker is a deep war film: it is honest, it reveals a soldier’s fears, and sometimes, addiction for the thrill of the unexpected—the rush of the unknown. The two Sergeants and Specialist with different temperaments leave the audience with a strong impression of the anxieties, hopes, and small triumphs of a war that has often been compared to that of Vietnam. And like films from the Vietnam era, it allows those fortunate enough to stay back home understand what our men and women in uniform are waking up to every day. It is an intense film, shot beautifully, and although incredibly entertaining, it lingers with you unlike any summer action flick can.


About Author

Kat Oloy

Kat Oloy was born in 1987 to Tania and Sergey in Ukraine, Odessa. Her mother, a well known graphic designer and her father. She is a graduate of the Art Institute and has worked for Disney Interactive, The Creative Group - Creative Staffing Agency and Moon Animate

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