Review No. 472
Good, but “Hurt” oh so badly by its script.
DIRECTED BY KATHRYN BIGELOW. WRITTEN BY MARK BOAL. STARRING JEREMY RENNER (SERGEANT FIRST CLASS WILLIAM JAMES), ANTHONY MACKIE (SERGEANT J. T. SANBORN), BRIAN GERAGHTY (SPECIALIST OWEN ELDRIDGE), CHRISTIAN CAMARGO (LIEUTENANT COLONEL JOHN CAMBRIDGE), EVANGELINE LILLY (CONNIE JAMES), RALPH FIENNES (THE LEADER OF A PRIVATE MILITARY COMPANY UNIT), DAVID MORSE (COLONEL REED), AND GUY PEARCE (STAFF SERGEANT MATTHEW THOMPSON). ALSO STARRING CHRISTOPHER SAYEGH. DISTRIBUTED BY SUMMIT ENTERTAINMENT AND UNIVERSAL STUDIOS ON JUNE 26, 2009. PRODUCED IN ENGLISH BY THE UNITED STATES. RUNS 2 HOURS, 11 MINUTES. RATED R BY THE MPAA, FOR WAR VIOLENCE AND LANGUAGE.
THE HURT LOCKER WAS WATCHED ON MAY 4, 2013.
“The rush of battle is often a potent and lethal addiction, for war is a drug.” –Chris Hedges
The Hurt Locker runs two hours, eleven minutes, and everything from “go” feels like the middle section of a war epic. We open not knowing who these characters are at all, other than U.S. soldiers who have been ordered to Iraq during the War on Terror. We begin with action, and we end with action; certain moments in between are spent developing characters beyond their dialogue. Do I sound like I’m reviewing a James Cameron flick? It’s possible his ex-wife, Kathryn Bigelow, stole a few stylistic ideas while creating this.
But why would she steal from her ex-husband when she so obviously loves this project as something of her very own? The Hurt Locker keeps, reportedly, over 100 times less than what was shot. That’s well over two-hundred hours of different angles, powerful acting, and just two key editors to extract the best of the best, and thus piece it into something just over two hours. The statistic is mind-blowing, and onscreen, it looks great. The dramatization represents a realistic view of war by showing the humanity of every actor, the several hundred points of view, the rigid camera, and the sudden tense feeling we draw in the climactic moments (even if the catharsis is entirely predictable).
But in every man’s interpretation of real life, there is boredom. The Hurt Locker offers a lot of it. As previously suggested, Mark Boal’s writing is sparsely more than a flat line. It’s often mind-numbing, going in clueless to an uneven, tediously paced cluster of characters and action alike. And I liked these characters. I would’ve taken a four-hour movie in a heartbeat, just so long as there was a solid beginning and end to surround the two hours we HAVE seen.
You all know I love puns–the awfuller the better. Here’s a few puns and a half for you, per the plot itself: Some scenes in The Hurt Locker were rather explosive, but by now, they’ve long since diffused in my memory. I wouldn’t say The Hurt Locker was the bomb. I wouldn’t say it bombed, either. To try and guess why this won Best Picture, however, might cause my mind to explode.