Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Hurt Locker (2009)

Director: Katheryn Bigelow. Cast: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Guy Pearce, Ralph Fiennes, David Morse, Evangeline Lilly. 131 min. Rated R. War.

Watched it again after the theater experience a few months ago - and the tension was as fresh as ever. The story about the IED-defusing squads in the Iraq War, is far beyond your run-of-the-mill "should I cut the red wire, should I cut the blue wire" plot. No matter what your stance on the Iraq War is, it'll be utterly impossible for you not to sympathize with these soldiers. Although the main Oscars this year will probably go to Bigelow's ex-husband Cameron for Avatar, I believe The Hurt Locker has enough merit to be considered the year's best movie.

Mo says:


  1. I also enjoyed this movie, but it seems it is a bit "hollywoodized".

  2. Boy, that's an interesting article. I had no clue about the discrepancies in the movie (actually, I thought this is how Iraq was during those days!). If what Sullivan is quoting is true, and if Avatar's producers advertise on it, that may hurt Bigelow's chances of becoming the first female director ever to get an Oscar.

  3. The most surprising point for me was exactly its director. How can a female artist make such a breathtaking movie ….entirely of war genre? If I didn’t know that , it was absolutely impossible for me to predict! Bravo , even though she might been assisted by her genius ex-husband!
    One of most attractive male character I saw !....by Jeremy Renner ….and how beautifully he portrait of a hero in his symbolic trip , in order to be more mature and getting insight and face to the world and life and its good & ugly facts , without loosing his positive traits.That’s it !
    I liked final scene because it focused on : (spoiler!)
    No matters war should continue or not …no matter is it logic or not…what disastrous consequences it brings…none of them is important.
    What important is : he returns because he must return. Because he is needed and must do his job agin…incredible !

    * Is Ralph Fiennes in a serious financial trouble ....or enjoy working with Bigelow after “Strange days”? What a short ridiculous role he had accepted!

  4. The final scene is focusing on the movie's opening subtitle: "War is a drug". Some people just get addicted to it. The "normal" life we have at home, is actually abnormal for them - as shown by the gloomy photography when Renner returns to the States. His normal life was in war.

    As you may have noticed, the short appearance wasn't only limited to Ralph Fiennes. Other rather famous performers (Guy Pearce, David Morse, Evangeline Lilly) also had short presences. It's the old Hitchcockian trick (first done in "Psycho", I think), of sending a famous actor into the scene, making the viewers think their seeing one of the main characters, but then surprising them by killing off the actor. In this case, Fiennes and Pierce are both killed in a matter of minutes.

  5. Very interesting ! I noticed the short-time role of Guy Pearce too but I had no idea about this old trick ,also I got opening title of " war is a drug" but couldn't connect it to the final scene as you mention now . Nice analysis. Thanks!

  6. One of the most beautiful movies I've ever seen about war. I think the final scene was absolutely predictable, since this incredibly brave guy had such a strong belief to what he did. And I completely agree with you about sympathizing with the soldiers(in addition to hating Iraq people!)

  7. The final scene was not only predictable - it was obligatory. Because there's no other ending for such a person: to "live" or die in the combat zone. That's why I wouldn't perceive his action to be due to a "strong belief". Just like any addict who has no control or belief over his/her action, the soldier here is no exception.