D.J. Haza presents the next entry in his series of films to watch before you die…
The Hurt Locker, 2009.
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow.
Starring Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Christian Camargo, Evangeline Lilly, Ralph Fiennes, David Morse and Guy Pearce.
The Hurt Locker is the gritty tale of a three-man bomb disposal team in the United States Army during the Iraq War. With every day being possibly their last as they dispose of hidden and improvised bombs around the dangerous streets of Baghdad the three of them need to work closely together. Sergeant J.T. Sanborn and Specialist Owen Eldridge guard their new team leader Sergeant First Class William James as he works to disarm the IEDs.
However, James is a bit of a wild card and a maverick. His reckless actions and who cares attitude make his team nervous and tensions mount. As each of them try to deal with the ordeal of their job and the possibility of being blown to bits every time they leave the base they clash regularly. Each of them want to make it out Iraq in one piece and count down the days until the tour is over, but for James the rush is irreplaceable and normal life just doesn’t cut it for him anymore.
The Hurt Locker is a tense and edge of your seat movie that brings home the constant threat of death that plagues soldiers whose jobs it is to disarm bombs in a war zone. The constant tension is enough to drive any person mad and the strain shows on the soldiers. Although some critics and veterans have condemned the film as not being realistic enough, they have admitted that it does more than most other modern films to bring the reality of war to audiences. The main criticism is that the uniforms, lack of radio communication and bad behaviour of the soldiers would not be found in such situations, but why let the truth get in the way of a good story?
The Hurt Locker is a film you must see before you die because Kathryn Bigelow’s low budget film earned her an Oscar for Best Director and she became the first woman to win in that particular category. With a budget of only $15 million it is the lowest grossing film to ever win the Best Picture Oscar and fought off competition from Bigelow’s ex-husband, James Cameron, and his immensely expensive film Avatar. A triumph in my eyes for substance over grossly expensive special effects as it was nominated for 9 Oscars and won 6.