THE HURT LOCKER
Viewed at the Newport AMC Theater in Newport, Kentucky
6:45 Saturday night show
Pre-movie meal: watermelon and blueberries
I was skeptical of this film because it was directed by Katherine Bigelow, who also directed one of the silliest movies I’ve ever seen: Keanu Reeves going undercover as a surfer dude-bank robber to nab Patrick Swayze in POINT BREAK.
But THE HURT LOCKER is great. I know it’s not doing too well, and probably never will do well, because who wants to go see a movie about Iraq? It’s not summer fun. Our theater was about 10 percent full, while the rest of the complex was loaded with teens, parents, and sweating Kentuckians of all ages.
(As an aside, the previews seemed to peg us as the same audience for GI JOE. All we saw were trailers for horror movie after horror movie, including the silly-looking SORORITY ROW. I can’t remember the others, but they all looked terrible and super-violent. Surely they’re misreading the audience for this film?)
Mainly I would like to praise THE HURT LOCKER for being a movie where about 85% of the film takes place on missions. It’s not a movie where you get eight scenes of boring barracks-room drama and then two scenes of high suspense and bombs. It’s pretty much all suspense and bombs.
If you want thought-provoking action and what looks (to an outsider) like a pretty realistic view from the ground in Iraq, this is your movie. (By “pretty realistic” I mean “pretty realistic within the storytelling constraints and requirements of Hollywood,” of course.)
Extra points for the film’s soft-pedaling of politics, The Cost Of War, and other hot-button points that might have been pushed harder in a typical production. Wherever the title came from, nobody in the film ever stops the action to say something like, “You’re in THE HURT LOCKER now, private!”
And the anti-bomb suit, and the anti-bomb robot, are pretty cool.
And there’s a brief cameo, out of nowhere, by the awesome Ralph Fiennes.
Overall I give it 8 undefused IEDs out of a possible 10.