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Warning you about crappy movies since 2008.

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Hurt Locker

I didn't know what a "hurt locker" was but figured the movie by the same name would offer an explanation. Welp, I sat through all 130 minutes of the film today, and I still don't know what a hurt locker is.

My expectations for this Iraq war flick couldn't have been higher, given all the buzz it is getting. Oscar buzz even. And, the first amazingly shot, nail-biting sequence where Guy Pearce and crew try to defuse a bomb made me believe this movie would live up the hype. Alas, it was downhill after that scene. And, s-l-o-w-l-y.

If the movie is supposed to say that war is hell and confusing as all get out, it does. I was confused from start to finish. Who just got shot? What was his motivation? Is that guy really an insurgent -- or just an innocent Iraqi who stumbled in to this scene at the wrong time? Hey, what's that kid doing alive? I thought he just got killed. And, what the hell is a hurt locker? It's all a cloudy mess, and it never gets explained. That may well be the reality of war, but as moviegoers, we deserve a bit more.

These characters are so ill-defined, it's hard to tell who's who. It's pretty impossible to care about any of them, when we know so little about them.

My mind kept wandering to that magnificent, three-hour masterpiece about the Vietnam War, The Deer Hunter. In that film, the first hour is dedicated to introducing us to the characters in their hometown. We know where they came from and who they were before war, so we can see what impact war has on them.

The battle scenes and the bomb-defusing scenes in this film feel repetitive. Not only did I feel like I was watching the same scene over and over, but I started to feel nauseous. The hand-held camera used throughout the film does more than make you feel uneasy about the goings-on. It made me queasy.

I realize I am in the minority on this one, but I don't think this war flick adds anything new to the genre. Skip it.

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