Film and Food

Movies reviews with matching food – eat, watch, enjoy

Best Picture – The Hurt Locker (2009)

Starring Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie & Brian Geraghty

Rating 9/10

This film is probably (hopefully) the closest I’ll ever get to being in the middle of a war zone. It’s shot like a documentary with very little music and loads of realistic sound effects. It is both excruciating and fascinating to watch because it draws you in to the crazy world or war torn Iraq and, let’s face it, who wants to find themselves in the middle of a war? Now for the plot…

Sergeant First Class William James (Renner) has arrived in Iraq as the new leader of an elite bomb disposal squad. He’s a renegade, a cool and fearless character with an appetite for bombs. When he meets the rest of his team, Sergeant J.T Sanborn (Mackie) and Specialist Owen Eldridge (Geraghty), they start to get a little worried about his renegade style.

Silence drives this film as the three amigos are called out to get rid of some pretty hefty bombs. All you can hear are heartbeats, puffing and fear. Tensions are also building between Sanborn and James to the point where J.T considers killing James and confesses this to a trembling Eldridge. But Sanborn keeps his cool and on they drive, running in to some friendly mercenaries and then the whole group comes under enemy fire. Well, Eldridge, the youngest of the three soldiers, freaks out but eventually they get the rock out of there and end up having a drunken punching session back at base (as you do!).

It’s here that the film gets a little disturbing as the action increases and James’ track record starts to get hammered. Things get ugly, James makes a pretty stupid decision and people die.

The thing about this film is that, from the first scene,  you don’t know which bomb is going to go off and which coloured wire is the right one to cut!  It’s as if you are the one in the bomb suit, with your heart pounding in a life and death kinda situation (which you’re not, you’re really sitting in a comfy lounge, tucked under a warm blanket, sipping on a glass of red… right?). But as this film is shot like a documentary, it feels all too real.

This is not a feel good movie, most great films aren’t but considering the small budget and the hellish weather and the difficult location, full marks to Bigelow and her crew. The themes may not be pleasant to watch but it is storytelling at its best, so it’s worth at least one viewing because it tries to give a voice to those real soldiers and the people of Iraq, suffering, fighting and fearing for their lives on a daily basis and that must be worth two hours of your time!

The Hurt Locker Trivia:

  • Budget – $15 million
  • Shot on location in Jordan where temperatures often reached 49 degrees celcius, and due to the small budget, cast and crew lived without air conditioning! Yikes.
  • Bigelow is the first woman to win an Oscar for Best Director! Woo hoo.
  • Unknown actors were hired for the main roles to increase the realism of the story and not distract viewers.
  • It was difficult to hire a film crew because of the Middle Eastern location. Most were too afraid to go, even though Jordan is fairly safe.
  • Controversy – in 2010 a bomb disposal expert from the U.S Army claimed that screenwriter, Boal based the main character on him, using his phrases and he tried to sue the film’s producers. He lost.

We’re on the home straight. Join us next time as we check out The King’s Speech starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush & Helena Bonham Carter.

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6 comments on “Best Picture – The Hurt Locker (2009)

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