‘Hurt Locker’ Shows Promise, but Gets Groggy – Movie Review

I heard that The Hurt Locker is the best movie of the year (and we're only in July) by a lot of major critics like Peter Travers and Roger Ebert. So I went to see it for myself, and I don't think that I saw the same movie as them. Hurt Locker starts off promising; squad "Bravo Company" defusing a bomb by hand after a robot breaks down. After an explosion and the death of a beloved team member, Bravo gets a new staff sergeant: William James. James, unlike previous sergeant Matt Thompson is a loose cannon. He's reckless and fearless, the kind of guy who likes to shoot now and take names later. At the point of his first greeting, the movie takes a downward spin. While some rare patches are suspenseful and will have you on the edge of your seat, the filler scenes between are filled with, well, nothing. Talking, talking, walking, walking. See a suspicious guy, watching, watching. Shoot someone, thinking, contemplating. Get my point?

The Hurt Locker stars Jeremy Renner (North Country) as James, Anthony Mackie (Eagle Eye) as Sergeant JT Sanborn and Brian Geraghty (We Are Marshall) as Specialist Owen Eldridge. Geraghty is the most convincing out of the three. There's also a short role for Guy Pearce as the later deceased Thompson, who's incredible, and another for Ralph Fiennes as the Contractor team leader. The big story here is the director, Kathryn Bigelow. Sure, she directed Point Break, but the lowdown on Locker is that she might have an Oscar nod in line for her come February. She'd be the fourth female director nominated for "Best Director" (the first if she wins) at the Academy Awards. Her style of directing is a mix of documentary and action. That works for some of the scenes, but I'm reminded of Michael Mann's arguable filming of Public Enemies. I'm going to cut her a break, since her directing is so influential. Mark Boal writes the screenplay, who also wrote In the Valley of Elah, and produces with Bigelow.

The Hurt Locker shows promise, although gets groggy as the movie unfolds. The reason I'm not giving it a lower grade than three out of five stars is because of the relationships the movie portrays with the Iraqi people. That's original, whilst The Hurt Locker is really just more of the same ol'.

3/5 stars.

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