website, blog and vanity nexus of writer R F Brown

The Hurt Locker (2009)

An elite Army bomb disposal unit in the Iraq War spends the last month of their duty tour struggling to enforce order on a chaotic mission and manage personal conflicts internal and external. Serving the chaos and brutal violence of the Iraq War in a digestible package is probably the biggest challenge of The Hurt Locker.  Several sequences, constructed for tension and menace are brilliantly executed.  The semi-Verite style and opaque narrative between the explosive sequences leaves one somewhat less fulfilled.   Perhaps some more grounded journal-style storytelling, a la Full Metal Jacket or Jarhead (both better movies) would have filled in some gaps for me.  What about a mangy fox who pops in midway to remind me that chaos reigns?   Really, lyrical as the title sounds, I still don’t even know what a hurt locker is.

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