Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Hurt Locker review

(Movie review)


Starring Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Christian Camargo, Ralph Fiennes, Guy Pearce, David Morse and Evangeline Lilly.
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow.

The best fictional Iraq War movie up to this point, I would argue, was The Kingdom, an actioner with Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Garner. Most Hollywood movies that tried to deal with it just used it as a platform to slam Bush or portray the Americans as the real bad guys, and not just focus on the troops at war. The Hurt Locker is now the best Iraq War movie thus far, as it respects the soldiers in their impossible situation and just chooses to focus on one guy who's a wee bit crazy. And I never knew where it was going but I was always in suspense.

Jeremy Renner, who's been serviceable in a few movies (S.W.A.T. comes to mind), gives a break-out performance here as Sgt. Will James, a specialist in defusing bombs who doesn't seem to mind he's risking his life every day. Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty, two more actors who've been fine in previous movies but really shine here, play his support squad, and they really mind putting their life on the line.

Director Kathryn Bigelow (Point Break, Strange Days) winds up being the ideal guide for this story. She knows how to stage action and more importantly, suspense. I predict the rare nomination of a female for Best Director in about six months. The farther away I get from this, the more it grows on me.

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