With all the acclaim that has been placed upon "The Hurt Locker", I kinda felt like I didn't really want to see it. Yeah, it was probably going to be good, but sometimes too much acclaim just makes me hate something more. Don't know why I just do.
So now I have seen this Oscar nominated film, and despite my initial 'hatred' for it, I have to admit: it deserves a lot of the credit its getting. There I admit it. "The Hurt Locker" is damn good.
Following in the shoes of a newly dead bomb squad leader in Iraq, James is a little different than the rest of his team. With only a month left until their time in the war zone is up, each of the three members of this elite bomb squad have different mind sets to what the end of their stay brings. Some, like James, find a solice in war and the adrenaline it produces than anyplace else.
Not that the film is perfect, in my opinion no film is, but for what the film was pointed towards, it accomplished a lot of great things. It's built on being very realistic and minimalistic in 'film' like qualities. The low droning score, no title sequence, and fly on the wall style of guerrilla directing all build this sense of character work and suspense that succeeds in every scene on the film. The acting is superb on all aspects (I got really excited to see Guy Pearce and Ralph Fiennes in the cast only to find them as secondary roles) with our three protagonists as our three muses of view points on the stress of their job.
Sometimes I felt as though the focus of the film gets a little jumbled at times, which is only reason it doesn't get the full 5 starts. With its intensity and subtle side of film making, there are some moments that felt a bit off pace with the rest of the film. Our moments with the potential death of 'Beckham' and its aftermath seem to blur itself too much at times for my taste. I understand that much of this is the 'artistic' side of the film and leaves it up to the decision of the viewer, but these moments tended to make me lose focus on what the general over-arching concept of what the film needed. Not that its actually a huge thing I had a problem with (obviously the ranking shows that) but it does leave a notch on an otherwise fairly perfect film.
"The Hurt Locker" deserves the accolades that it is getting. Its a slow burning suspense driven character study that hits almost all the right buttons right on the head. Films don't normally do into this much detail about this sort of subject matter so its a refreshing take on the 'war' film that isn't going to throw too many political fanatics into a fervor.
Written By Matt Reifschneider