Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Hurt Locker (2009)

Okay I wasn't going to do another review, but having not updated here for some time I figured I should, and why not talk about a really good piece of cinema.

The Hurt Locker deals with an American bomb disposal unit based in Iraq. By now you've heard the hype and seen the awards show. It swept the Oscars, and what ever you have to say about this film it certainly brings the chaos of war home. Kathryn Bigelow's direction is flawless, and she does so because of her talented cast & crew. Bigelow goes for a documentary feel, and makes the viewer feel as though she or he is there with the characters, and that anything and everything is possible. You actually forget that your watching a movie and it feels like a reality program. The use of multiple cameras works here, and the suspense is derived from the hyper active camera.

The cast is also really good. They feel authentic, and seem like real hardened grunts working a job they know can get them killed anytime. Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, and Bryan Geraghty give performances worthy of an Oscar even though they did not receive one.

One more thing I like to point out about the film. In essence the film is a low budget film. I believe it was shot for 9 million in the desert of Jordon. Though nine million seems like a lot I can tell you that a lot went to the local where they were filming.

The film has limited characters. There are a lot of scenes with extras, and some with named actors such as David Morse, or Guy Pearce, but the majority scenes have the three main actors of the movie in the frame.

The film is a well written film, and there are few lulls in the film. We expect the worst for these characters, yet it is amazing how well they come through all the chaos around them.

I can't say I enjoyed the film. It was gut wrenching and every frame made you wonder what was to come next. A good film is suppose to do that. You are transported to that local with the characters and you almost seem to live with them. Kathryn Bigelow does a marvelous job. Then again Bigelow is a dynamite director. From her first film Near Dark to The Hurt Locker Bigelow is a dynamic and visual director. Bigelow's films are filled with adrenaline like atmosphere which seem to be her trademark.

The Hurt Locker is as good and visceral as a film can get, and it's another example of talented people coming together and creating something extraordinary.