This isn’t a “review” so much as a concurrence. I completely agree with Seth Colter Walls’s assessment of this film in the February 1 edition of Newsweek. For what it is (a modern-day Western), The Hurt Locker does a fine job. Kathryn Bigelow’s suspense flick pushes all the right buttons, and the bomb scenes are first-rate. Thus, I rate it 90 percent. But it doesn’t rate any higher than that, just as it doesn’t deserve a Best Picture Oscar, because that’s all it is: a suspense flick.
Jeremy Renner is fine as the protagonist, but Bruce Willis could have pulled off this role. Or Chuck Conners (The Rifleman, remember him?).
People are placing much importance on Hurt Locker because it’s set in wartime Iraq, and therefore it must be a “serious” motion picture. Hogwash. Hogan’s Heroes was set in a Nazi P.O.W. camp, but I don’t believe it racked up Emmy Awards. So enjoy Bigelow’s movie for what it is, a well-crafted, yet ultimately forgettable, nail-biter. Grade: B+
Director: Kathryn Bigelow Cast: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Bryan Geraghty, Evangeline Lilly, David Morse, Ralph Fiennes, Guy Pearce Release: 2009
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