Starring: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Guy Pearce
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Running Time: 131 mins
The Hurt Locker is an American film about a trio of US bomb disposal soldiers serving in the Middle East, one of whom is a maverick sergeant whose methods and mentality cause considerable friction with his fellow men.
This film has two very distinct atmospheres to it. On the one hand, it’s a hugely exciting and entertaining action-war film, being fast-paced and full of tension throughout, while on the other hand, it’s a very deep and thoughtful look at the emotional turmoil of war on soldiers and their relationships with the other men they are serving with, which was absolutely fascinating.
I’ll start by talking about what I think is the best aspect of this film, the fact that it’s so entertaining. Yes, at times it may be a hard-hitting drama, but there are so many action scenes throughout that are packed with thrilling suspense that it’s hard not to enjoy this film so much.
Also, this film is really fast-paced, which adds a lot to the excitement of it all. Again, the action scenes are the most exhilarating parts of the film, but the bits in between are still really rapid, and zip by without every becoming too heavy or too dry, whilst maintaining the seriousness that they need to make this as interesting as it is too.
The themes of this film are what make it so fascinating and deep. Firstly, it’s a slightly different take on your average war film. It doesn’t look at the war so much as the men and the personalities involved, focussing more on the emotional impact that war can have on the soldiers when it becomes as devastating as it often does, and that was what really got me interested in the characters of this film, which allowed me to connect better with them, and become overall more engrossed in the story.
Another theme is about how some men serving in conflicts are actually thrilled by the concept of war. That’s brought across in a very interesting way, mostly through Jeremy Renner’s maverick, no holds barred character, which is not necessarily anti-war in feel (although it could be interpreted as so), but is more of just a deep look into the idea, without coming across as too controversial in any way.
So, overall, this gets a 7.8, because it’s an absolutely thrilling, hugely entertaining war film that takes a different approach to the genre which was just as fascinating as it was original.