The Hurt Locker
Written by Mark Boal
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Antony Mackie, Brian Geraghy, Ralph Fiennes, Guy Pearce & Evangeline Lily.
The Hurt Locker follows a unit of bomb defusers in Bagdahd circa 2004. Not quite following a plot per se, the film becomes quite early a study in mood and character as Sergeant First Class James (a reckless impulsive “redneck”), Sergeant Sanborn and Specialist Owen work through their last 38 days of their assignment in Iraq. Episodic in structure, Bigelow and Boal keep the adrenaline rushing in their audience by perfectly pacing the sheer danger that recurringly surrounds these characters, never falling back on moral/political preaching. Indeed, why the film succeeds is because whether in focusing on the fear of death which afflicts Owen, the sense of danger which James pursues or the socio-political issues which American soldiers come in contact with in Iraq, instead of “telling” the film simply “shows”: it is never a didactic film or a ‘message’ film, but more importantly, it is an electrifying jolt of a ride with more testosterone and high-voltage action-thrilling sequences than most of the summer box office draws out there. A