Saturday, August 08, 2009

MOVIE: The Hurt Locker

The Hurt Locker (Imdb|RT) has been getting a lot of Oscar buzz, a significant feat noting that this was an early-release. It nearly swept AwardsDaily’s First Half Awards, so I had to check it out.
I didn't know anything about the film going in, except that it had something to do with bombs and the Iraq war. And I'm not too keen about war films... I'm jumpy and don't like surprise deaths -- when I watch the television show 24, I go on Wikipedia first to see who, if anyone, dies in the episode I'm about to watch. So for the first half of The Hurt Locker, I had my hands over my ears and squinted my eyes, bracing myself for the gore I expect audience expect... but I found out that this wasn't one of those movies -- there really wasn't as much dying than I imagined, and I could be coerced into watching it again to take in a lot of the film's other elements. Though a lot of the suspense would be gone for me -- and there was a lot of suspense.

The movie didn't have a "storyline" per se but was a series of events that gives audiences glimpses of a bomb tech Staff Sergeant William James (Jeremy Renner from ABC's The Unusuals). There were a surprising number of big names in the film -- David Morse, Ralph Fiennes, Guy Pierce, Evangeline Lilly -- but each played a very small supporting role; I found this to be refreshing. I read on the movie's imdb trivia page that Colin Firth was first considered for the lead, but I think the role would be too similar to his role in Tigerland and his "star-power" would bring on a different and incorrect feel to the picture. Jeremy Renner gave a great performance and is a lock for the Best Actor shortlist come Oscar time. The director, Kathryn Bigelow is also getting big props and should also see her name there. The film is currently leading the pack. I was really glad to have gone to see the film. It was very well-done.


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