What Did I Just Watch: The Hurt Locker
That’s what you’ll be saying after you watch this movie. Yes the acting was good. Yes the scenery had a lot of texture to it and seemed so real as if you could touch it. But, the script was not only not good, but it was amateurish, yes bad. The Hurt Locker is a hurt movie. And, to top it all off, it is so long that half way through you’ll be surprised it isn’t over. To add insult to injury, there is no ending. The fact that there is no ending, should indicate to the intelligent mind, there was no beginning.
The Hurt Locker
This film is ably directed by Kathryn Bigelow. There are no glaring mistakes in how the movie was shot, nor how the actors conveyed what was going on in each scene. However, the blame for the complete failure of the movie soundly rests on the shoulders of its writer Mark Boal. The script is awful. I don’t mean it was bad like the jokes weren’t funny and the sad parts weren’t sad, I mean it is not a script.
I can just picture the writer coming to the producer and pitching the movie: “I have an idea for a movie in Iraq.” And the producer says, “ok, what happens.” The writer then simply gets up and walks away. Obviously someone was convinced of Mark Boal’s brilliance, strictly based on some outside factor other than this movie. At the end of the day you’re left wondering why you wasted your time watching the movie.
You would literally be far more entertained if you stopped a soldier from Iraq and asked him to tell you some experiences he had while there.
Story and Acting
The story starts out very, in your face. There is no introduction, it simply moves into the opening scene of “there’s a bomb that needs to be defused.” While that is great for an opening scene, gets the blood pumping, the adrenalin going, the entire movie is a repeat of the opening scene.
The three main characters are Sergeant JT Sanborn played by Anthony Mackie, Sergeant William James played by Jeremy Renner, Specialist Owen Eldridge played by Brian Geraghty. At first blush you’re overwhelmed by the complete lack of variety of clothing that soldiers wear. At times it is hard to keep track of who you are looking at, which is another downfall of the movie. Luckily, Anthony Mackie is Black, very Black. Thankfully they cast him in one of the leading roles. Had the movie been about 3 white guys, noone would have been able to understand what little there was to understand about the movie. When the other two white actors are on screen it is very hard to keep track of who is who. The viewer is relegated to taking visual queues from the emotional state of the actors. Specialist Owen Eldridge is portrayed as being the emo soldier that is apparently having a hard time adjusting to killing, watching people be killed. Sergeant William James is portrayed as being a reckless bomb diffuser. You literally have to sit and see which one is emo and which one is gung-ho, to understand which white guy is which. They didn’t even do us the favor of having one constantly have maybe a summer uniform and one wear a more formal uniform. To make even more confusing, their voices did not vary from each other either.
Of the script that they were given to work with, all three actors give it their best shot. It is just sad that the script was so awful.
This script introduces a new negative in writing. You know how movies have plot holes? For instance, you’ll watch a movie and in one scene the father gets off the phone with his doctor and he turns and says, ” I have cancer, and they’ve scheduled me for surgery.” In the next scene the father is wheeled off to surgery. And, you never hear about the father ever again in the movie, but they took the time to make two scene centered on this cancer and surgery. That, is a plot hole. In The Hurt Locker you have plot destruction. For instance: in one scene Sergeant James finds a little boy that he has been playing soccer with, in a previous scene, dead and the corpse filled with explosives. He has an emotional break down and sets out to find the killer. In 4 scene later the boy comes up to him asking to play soccer with him. Sergeant James ignores him and continues on with the movie. The viewer is left stunned and wondering how that resolved anything and why were were taken on the wild goose chase for, get this, 5 scenes in the movie. In another scene we see a very dastardly colonel who subtly hints that an Iraqi should be murdered on the spot. This same colonel walks up and compliments, at length, Sergeant James. The audience is left wondering if the colonel is going to do something to Sergeant James. Why? Because the colonel seems to be sarcastic about the compliments, that and the fact that he goes on for 5 minutes doing it.
This movie is a bomb. And, it needs to be diffused. If Hollywood has no editors hired they need to invest in one pronto. The movie was very very long. The camera work was teeeeeerrible. It was shaky throughout the movie. It was so shaky, I am glad I reviewed the movie with my vitamins handy.
This is a Must Not See. I won’t even go into the reality of the soldier portrayal. Apparently there was absolutely nothing realistic about the portrayal. I’ve never been in the Army, nor an enlisted soldier.