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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Hurt Locker - Movie Review and Story Description

The Hurt Locker - Movie Review, Exclusive Tailor and Story Description

The Hurt Locker - Movie Review
The Hurt Locker (13+)

Rating: 4 out of 5

Starring: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Guy Pearce and Ralph Fiennes

Parents' guide: violence, coarse language.

The Hurt Locker is a gripping, edge-of-your-seat war saga about an Explosive Ordinance Disposal unit (EOD) in the U.S. Army’s Bravo Company stationed near Baghdad, Iraq. Even the scenery — an arid desert, devoid of any greenery — underlines the psychological impact the war has on the American soldiers. It is oppressively hot, a hell for the soldiers dressed in heavy, protective gear.

Danger lurks around every street corner. Hostile citizens threaten them in the streets they patrol. They can step on buried explosives and be blown to smithereens if they’re careless. Every day is a battle of life or death for Staff Sergeant William James, Sergeant J.T. Sanborn and Specialist Owen Eldridge. Each one deals with the psychological trauma of war in his own way. James is fearless while performing the task of defusing bombs, and Sanborn resents his reckless behavior.

He counts the days left in their rotation and hopes he goes home in one piece. Eldridge meanwhile expresses his pessimistic attitude to Camp Victory’s resident psychiatrist. Eldridge doesn’t think he’ll survive the tour of duty because so many of his buddies have been killed. He has witnessed too many soldiers die and he expects to be a casualty also. Eldridge taunts the doctor who has not seen combat in Iraq. The psychiatrist decides to accompany his patient on one of the deadly missions with his unit.

I was sweating and holding my breath while watching this intense war saga. The question was ever-present: Who will survive? Which injured soldier will go to the hurt locker? Will all three men in the bomb squad live through the final days of their rotation?

The performances of the main actors — Jeremy Renner as James, Anthony Mackie as Sanborn and Brian Geraghty as Eldridge — are outstanding. As an audience member, I was feeling their fear and pain. Director Kathryn Bigelow created a drama so completely terrifying and real I imagined I was in Iraq with the troops. An onscreen quote at the beginning of the movie underscores the theme perfectly: “The rush of battle is a potent and often lethal addiction, for war is a drug.”

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