Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Addiction. It is a terrible thing. And not all addictions are of the alcohol-and-drugs variety. Some people are attracted to the adrenaline rush experienced by putting one’s life in peril. And at times the search for this escalating rush borderlines on a death wish and puts others in jeopardy as well. It is this addiction that is explored in The Hurt Locker, a movie that follows a U.S. Army bomb-disposal squad the latter stages of their deployment in Iraq. Without being overtly patriotic or critical, the film highlights as well the trials of military duty in a war zone, the camaraderie and bonds among service people, the emotional responses to deadly duties in the extreme. It avoids artificially raising the tension with music and overwrought dialogue. The photography is gritty and realistic (at least it seemed so to me). Jeremy Renner stars as the adrenaline junkie bomb tech determined not only to defuse IEDs, but to understand the devices and the bomb makers. He was wonderful in the part, as were his top sergeant, played by Anthony Mackey, and specialist, played by Brian Geraghty. Ralph Finnes has a nice cameo role as a CIA contractor trying to cash in on the capture of two high-profile Iraqis. But the film is not star driven. I haven’t spoken to any soldiers who served over there, and I am quite interested in finding out how they reacted to the story. I have a feeling many will say that its portrayal of life there is spot on.