The Hurt Locker
- Director: Kathryn Bigelow
- Genre: Action
- Details: US/131mins 15A
- Release Date: 28/08/2009
Jeremy Renner's Staff Sergeant William James is the new CO of the Army Bomb Squad Unit. A bit of an adrenaline junkie, he appears to have no regard for his own safety, which naturally puts the lives of the two other members of his team, Specialist Owen Eldridge and Sergeant JT Sanborn, is danger. As the clock counts down to the end of their rotation, the well-trained, but cracking soldiers encounter a different scenario every day on the dusty roads of Iraq that could mean an early end for their rotation. James is different, though, he loves his job and see's every bomb disposal as dangerous opportunity to get that heart rate going.
Bigelow has been the epitome of hit and miss throughout her career; but with the likes of Near Dark and Point Break to her name, she was always capable of delivering a quality action production - even if that did seem easy to forget with some of her more recent efforts. The Hurt Locker feels so fresh that you'd be forgiven for thinking it was a hot young director who was responsible, and not someone who has been blowing up stuff on celluloid for nigh on 25 years. She does a sterling job here, and should see a welcome career resurgence because of it.
One of those rare films that manages to develop characters around the action, you worry for the well being of some of these soldiers, yet fear for what they might be capable of at the same time. War changes people, and it messes them up royally - this war no less than any other. Bigelow's point is hardly original, but her execution is superb; the tremor of every explosion is felt from your seat.
Performances too are excellent, with Renner impressing once again after a memorable turn in 28 Weeks Later. He's edgy, heroic, detached and focused all at the same time, when some big name actors can't convey one of those properly - it's an excellent performance. Seek this film out then tell your friends. Excellent action cinema, that doesn't for a second pander to its audience.
Review by Mike Sheridan | 09:00 | Friday 28th August 2009 | Movie Review
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