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February 18, 2010

The Hurt Locker


I'm way behind on writing up movie reviews, so I'm going to banish the word "review" from my mind here and just tell you a little about what I thought.

In brief: The Hurt Locker was very, very good. I don't tend to watch a lot of war movies - I can't remember the last one I saw, unless we count White Christmas or The Sound of Music. (Dad: Feel free to send me a list.) So I wasn't really sure how I would like this, but the reviews were so good that I had to give it a try. I wouldn't say that this was an enjoyable movie, exactly. It was uncomfortable to watch, and I realized I was pretty tense. My shoulders hurt by the end of it because I kept steeling myself for imminent explosions. But movies don't have to be fun to be good, and this was one of the best movies I've seen in a long time.

In case you haven't heard much about it: The Hurt Locker is basically an action movie about a team of soldiers in Iraq who are responsible for defusing IEDs. It manages to follow the stories of these soldiers without turning the movie into too much of a political vehicle. Jeremy Renner is amazing as William James, the main technician who is something of a wildcard. So far, at least, he's my choice for Best Actor, as he manages to display a wide range of emotions without having a whole lot to say. I thought Anthony Mackie was the other standout among the actors, and he should have gotten a Supporting Actor nod.

There was one plot point that I thought was completely cliched and obvious, but other than that, the whole thing was pretty nuanced, and about as understated as something about explosions can be. There's been some discussion about how factually correct this portrayal of the Iraq War is, but honestly, I don't know enough to come down on one side or the other of that. I just know that it was a powerful film. (Also check out Alyssa on the gender-role reversal here with a woman making an action movie.)

Posted by Kat at February 18, 2010 09:00 AM

I've had a crush on Renner since SWAT which is pretty amazing, being that both LL Cool J and Colin Farrell are in that as well.

Posted by: AmyW at February 19, 2010 09:13 PM
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