The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow) 2009 US

Reviewed by Ben Williams at the Santa Barbara International film festival.

The Hurt Locker movie image (3)365 days of hard jobs, violence and constant vigilance in the heat of war, can do many things to man.  For many “The rush of battle is often potent and lethal addiction, for war is a drug.” (Chris Hedges)  And for Staff Seargant William James (Jeremy Renner) war is just about the only thing he cares about.

The Hurt locker is a story from the soldiers point of view of the Iraq war.  It shows us the story of Staff Sergeant William James who comes to Iraq to replace Staff Sergeant Thompson who is killed in a bomb explosion.  However the other team members: Specialist Owen Eldridge (Brian Geraghty) and Sergeant JT Sanborn (Anthony Mackie), consider James’s attitude to be reckless and and selfish; after they disarm a car bomb and James is constantly ignoring orders and disobeying protocall.

The one film technique that Bigelow used in this film that really impressed me was the camera angles and shots.  The shots were so sharp, immediate, and raw.  It was as if Bigelow was using these shots to throw the audience into the center of the film.  Make us feel the fear and adrenaline of the soldiers in the head of battle.

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