Deserving 6 ACADEMY AWARDS..
Not many independent films have ever won six academy awards but the oddly named movie “The Hurt Locker” is more than deserving. Hurt locker is a colloquialism for being injured in an explosion, such as “they sent him to the hurt locker.” With that said, it can be assumed bombs and explosions are the focal point of this movie. Going into it I was extremely skeptical due to the fact that it could be predictable. The main character is the one defusing the bombs; no way could anything happen to him, right?
Wrong. Stationed in Iraq, Sergeant William James (Jeremy Renner) is the leader of an Explosive Ordinance Disposal squad better known as EOD. He is a replacement for Staff Sergeant Thompson who was killed by a remote-detonated bomb. Reckless, fearless, and care-free characterizes James. He doesn’t seem to be worried about dying but rather excited. This is the exact opposite of his colleagues who first impressions of James are anything but positive. James partners on the EOD squad J.T. Sanborn (Anthony Mackie) and Owen Eldridge (Brian Geraghty) are pre-occupied with staying safe while James is simply trying to get an adrenaline fix. The movie displays the effect war has on our soldiers and how emotionally draining it can be. Throughout The Hurt Locker you see the frustrations war brings but also how addicting the action is to some soldiers.
For me, it was the handheld camera that made this film spectacular. The handheld made you feel like you were in Iraq with the soldiers. It was a bit dizzy and bumpy at times, but that’s what made it all the more practical. However, the music made you feel even closer. The suspense was paralyzing. The music and sound effects had such an effect on the audience that half the time you would think something insane is about to happen but it would lead to something as simple as James tying his shoelace. That’s how intense this movie is and the audience is drawn in from the start.
Director Kathryn Bigelow does a magnificent job presenting a pragmatic setting by shooting the movie in Jordan, within several miles of the Iraqi border. However, The Hurt Locker would not have been possible without screenwriter Mark Boal. This independent film is based on the accounts of Boal’s experience with an American bomb squad in the war in Iraq. He truly shows you what soldiers go through on a day-to-day basis. CNN and other news stations can only do so much with broadcasting the war; this movie puts you right in the middle of the action.
“The rush of battle is a potent and often lethal addiction, for war is a drug.” This quotation is what the movie opens up with and there is good reason for that. Renner displays to the audience how much of a drug war can be. As cliché as it might sound, you really will be on the edge of your seat from the get go. Just remember, The Hurt Locker won best picture for a reason.
Written by Sam Stouffer