Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Hurt Locker (2008)

This taut, stomach-churning war film won six Oscars including best picture and director.

Hold off on the popcorn consumption given all of this film's nerve-wracking scenes.

Sgt. William James (Jeremy Renner) is a new member of bomb disposal unit serving in Iraq in 2004. He takes chances that continually put him and his comrades, Sgt. JT Sanborn (Anthony Mackie) and Specialist Owen Eldridge (Brian Geraghty) in danger.

James keeps testing fate even with a wife and baby back home. War gives him experiences that far surpass his humdrum existence stateside cleaning out eavestroughs and shopping for cereal.

"The older you get, the fewer things you love," James tells his son.

James loves war. He has disarmed 873 bombs -- and counting.

His gung-ho approach isn't shared by Sanborn and Eldridge. The latter is still shaken up by a comrade's death. Sanborn wants to keep everybody alive by minimizing risks.

The threat of violence is constant. Improvised explosives are everywhere. The American soldiers don't know who they can trust. Here, cellphones can detonate bombs.

Hollywood has tried other films about the Iraqi war, but nobody watched them. The Hurt Locker offers audiences a gripping look at how war affects soldiers differently under the constant threat of death.

It's a great film.

RATING: 9/10

FUN FACTS: Look quick for cameos by Guy Pearce and Ralph Fiennes.

Part of The Hurt Locker was shot in British Columbia, Canada.

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