Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Hurt Locker (2009)

Best film made about Iraq so far, although somewhat cliched narrative conventions keep it from attaining the modern classic status many seem to believe it achieves. Jeremy Renner and Antoine Mackie are a bomb defuser and his spotter, respectively, as they traverse the tough Iraqi landscape over the last month of their tour. Renner is a great loose cannon, actively putting himself in harms way to attain the adrenaline rush that fuels his expertise at defusal. Mackie is also very strong, and is especially chilling when his character exposes his rough, unstable edges. Guy Pearce, Ralph Finnes, and David Morse have fun cameos, but the film is generally intense and heart-wrenching; we end up really caring about the characters, and each successive bomb defusal sequence is more tense than the last as a result. Kathryn Bigelow stages the first successful Iraqi battle sequences since Three Kings. Although the film never quite reaches the heights of her classic films Near Dark and Point Break, it is another example of her mastery of action sequences and her unique insight into relationships in the trenches.

Highly Recommended. Not for ADD morons, but then again, what is, except pills and youtube.

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