Oscar Winner Depicts Iraq War In Action

Directed by:  Kathryn Bigelow

Starring: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie

Release Date: April 22 (in theaters everywhere)

With its rock’em sock’em directing and fast-paced editing, this year’s Oscar darling is really more of an action flick than a war film, even though it centers on an Army bomb squad unit in Iraq at the height of the insurgency. And it’s probably because of this approach that “The Hurt Locker” is the only Iraq War movie to date that will be worth looking back on in years to come when the conflict (hopefully) dwindles down. It keeps the preachy, ‘Bush lied, people died’ sentimentality to a minimum and instead focuses on the nerve-wracking, adrenaline-pumping job of its protagonists: disarming roadside bombs in the streets of Baghdad. There are some unfortunate diversions and implausibilities thrown in that cripple the film as a whole, but a lot of it is just a series of brilliant stand-alone scenes. Watching Sergeant James’ (played by Jeremy Renner) trying to defuse a bomb that’s been strapped to an Iraqi man for a suicide attack, for example, not only makes for riveting cinema, it gives the viewer an evocative image to chew over.

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2 Responses to “Oscar Winner Depicts Iraq War In Action”

  1. Robert E Kelly Says:

    I enjoyed this movie too, but I thought it was wildly overrated. It certainly did not deserve to be Best Picture, as it’s much-vaunted realism was not real at all. The much-touted sniper sequence, for example, is ridiculous: riding around alone in some random Iraqi desert and then suddenly a bomb-removal squad becomes expert marksmen? I don’t buy it at all. Here is my review: http://asiansecurityblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/07/the-hurt-locker-should-not-be-best-picture/.

    Great site, btw. Wish you posted more…

  2. Jacob Worrel Says:

    I agree. Or the scene where he goes rogue, wandering around the streets of Baghdad after dark in civilian clothes like it ain’t no thang. But I think the scenes of them disarming bombs, especially the opening scene and the one I mentioned above, are amazing.
    Given the quality of this year’s nominations (well, really most years’ nominations), I think the academy could have done much worse in picking a Best Picture winner. It’s all relative. It was better than ‘Avatar,’ anyway. And that was its only real competition. I can’t remember the last time I thought the Best Picture winner was the best film of the year. Yeah, the Oscars suck.

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