Tuesday, 8 September 2009

The Hurt Locker

Wow! What a film! The Hurt Locker defies any quick attempt to put it into a genre. I suppose you would have to call it a war movie, but it’s unlike just about any war movie you’ve ever seen. Not that it’s an anti-war film; it defies being labelled as that as well. What it is, is an example of superb filmmaking, thanks to the direction of Kathryn Bigelow, the writing of Mark Boal (who wrote one of my favourite films of 2008, In the Valley of Elah), and the outstanding performance by Jeremy Renner (among others). I’m no fan of war movies and I’m no fan of the kind of camera-work employed in most of this film (as you all know), but I AM a fan of awesome filmmaking that is so good it makes me forget that I am not a fan of those other things. Indeed, it almost makes you forget you are watching a fictitious film. The Hurt Locker looks and feels like an amazing documentary. It puts you into today’s Iraq so completely that afterwards you will feel like you’ve been there – like you have been an American soldier or an Iraqi civilian or even an Iraqi “terrorist” (but mostly the soldier). What an achievement! Guaranteed to be in my top five films of 2009, this film gets an easy ****.

However, great as this film is, it is most definitely not for everyone (I’m talking to those of you who are not as desensitized to intense military violence as I am). Be warned.

That’s two **** films in a row, both in genres I don’t care for. Next week I go to see a highly acclaimed film in one of my favourite genres – sci-fi. Will we have three **** films in a row? Stay tuned.

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