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The Hurt Locker is Extremely Suspenseful

Published July 1, 2009 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Summit Entertaiment
The Hurt Locker The Hurt Locker
The Hurt Locker is like modern day Wages of Fear. It’s really suspenseful, exploring the new phenomenon of IEDs like Wages explored the difficulties of nitro transport.

Review: The Hurt Locker

To follow a procedure that works is always interesting. That’s why there are so many doctor, lawyer and mystery shows. Some experts really do know how to solve problems. This is a job that’s highly specialized because it’s only in one region, in one conflict and the stakes are hundreds of lives and military position.

The nonchalance of the bomb techs about their explosive job is disquieting. It’s routine to them, and they even appreciate the beauty and intricacy of devices, but coming into their world at this level of comfort is a shock to us. There is suspense in the execution of their methods, minor snafus being vitally important. Each encounter could have major consequences. Each onlooker could be the triggerman. The contraptions are really devious too.

Their banter during the operation makes me uncomfortable. They need to stay sane, but don’t be so casual. There’s a bomb there! The male bonding is believable. After what they’ve been through, they need some macho bravado to keep from losing it entirely.

The cowboy sh*t actually gives me more confidence in the bomb tech. I don’t care what’s in store for him, he’s already done so well that he can act however he wants. At least somebody is so good at his job that he can stop these crazy weapons that are put in his path.

With the important subject matter, the film remains entertaining. It’s never self-important. Anybody’s point of view is just a part of the world, of the story. Even so, any political statement is minimal.

The camera shakes a lot but at least they cut to locked off shots sometimes. You can always see what’s going on though. It’s intense on the merits of the story and editing, but the handheld camera is tolerable. <P> There are still some movie moments. As an audience, we know what happens in a movie when certain things are set up. I mean, in a movie, what else could happen? So you see a little bit coming. That doesn’t take anything away from the artful construction though.

It’s a bit long. It wears you out, but Jesus, we get to go home after two hours. The real soldiers stay there for years. It might not be quite fun, but it’s war. You still want a film to provide an intense experience. And again, we Hollywood people have no real problems.
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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Summit Entertaiment

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