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Oscar watch review: The Hurt Locker

If you haven't seen the Hurt Locker, it is a must see suspense thriller.
If you haven't seen the Hurt Locker, it is a must see suspense thriller.
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The Hurt Locker, the highly realistic suspense, war drama directed by Katheryn Bigelow (Point Break).  Nominated for 9 Academy Awards, includiing best picture, it is, to put it mildly, not just a film, it is an experience.

There's minimal downtime. And like a good film (one that all but ruled at prestigous film festivals world wide) the characters are fully developed amidst the uncertainty of war. The Hurt Locker studies the danger of a war zone with an unrelenting microscope. A clear lens brings into focus the gut wrenching elements of fear, anxiety, and machismo.

The plot is set in Baghdad where an elite team of specialist have 38 days remaining in a dangerous rotation that involves disarming IED'S (Improvised Explosive Device). Lead by masterful bomb technician, Staff Seargant William James (Jeremy Renner) the danger is multiplied as it becomes clear his methods are more instinctive than by-the-book. Thus the tension in the film is heightened as he disregards necessary communication with Seargent J.T. Sanborn (portrayed by the often underrated Anthony Mackie). Both Seargent's, seasoned professionals within their perspective roles, disagree on more then one occurrence, which causes the interaction between them to escalate the inevitable danger they face on each assignment.

Katheryn Bigelow molds the psychological effects of war and the attitudes of the men involved from an intricate script written by Mark Boal (In The Valley of Elah). What men do to hide their hopes and fears in order to get the job done without casualties appears to be the theme, and it is done without the saturation of visual effects some may expect in a war film this day in age. Expect a dazzling character study along with white knuckles and heart palpitations.

The Hurt Locker's authenticity and suspense and its fine cast (there are also quicker than lightning appearences by Guy Pearce, Ralph Fiennes, David Morse, and Evangeline Lilly) create without a doubt one of the finest war movies.

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