The Hurt Locker (2008)

by EHL Movie Reviews

Run Time: 2 hour 11 min
Release Date: August 28 2008
Genre: Drama, Thriller, War
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Cast: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty

Plot Summary

During the Iraq War, a Sergeant recently assigned to an army bomb squad is put at odds with his squad mates due to his maverick way of handling his work.

Coming from the vision of Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker follows an Army bomb squad during the Iraq war showing the ups and downs these different personalities go through.

Bigelow showcases her skill behind the camera, there are some interesting perspectives throughout. Seeing different scenarios through a variety of viewpoints, this creates tension within the moment you are witnessing but you never lose sight of the danger these men are in. The camera work makes you feel every moment, the jerky style brought to the screen emphasises the dangerous situations. Another clever addition was the cutaways in these tense times, they don’t seem to affect the ability to see the danger each character is in, but show the emotion each one is going through.

Evident to see is the intimacy of this film. It is not reliant on the explosions and gunshots that you get from a normal war film, however, the intimate nature still manages to create the sense of danger you expect to feel when watching this genre. The film seems more of a character study in the sense that you have these soldiers that have their issues, but still need to go about their every day like normal, such an intense film but following these characters is just fascinating.

There are some great performances on show here, and Jeremy Renner is easily one of the standouts. He gets across this serviceman that clear isn’t scared of danger but he has some big issues. There is a moment towards the end where he shows the struggles of coming back to real life, but manages to do it in this very short sequence.

So many fantastic choices across the board to make this film what it is. The camerawork is outstanding incorporating viewing perspectives that add so much to each scene, creating danger round every corner.