The Hurt Locker
is crazy…crazy good!
It’s the summer of 2004 on the streets of Baghdad and Sergeant J.T. Sanborn (Anthony Mackie) and Specialist Owen Eldridge (Brian Geraghty) of Bravo Company are knee deep in the war effort. They are members of a small counterforce specifically trained to handle the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) or homemade bombs that account for more than half of American hostile deaths and have killed thousands of Iraqis. It is a high-pressure, high-stakes assignment that requires a calm intelligence. After losing their team leader on a routine mission, Staff Sergeant William James (Jeremy Renner) takes over the team. Sanborn and Eldridge are shocked by what seems like a reckless disregard for military protocol and basic safety measures. Is James really a swaggering cowboy who lives life of the edge or is he a consummate professional who has truly honed his craft? They only have 38 days left of their tour, but each new mission threatens to end it all.
When you hear people talk about The Hurt Locker
you will most likely hear words like “riveting” or “suspenseful” and believe me those are perfect words for this portrait of our military's unrecognized heroes: the technicians of a bomb squad. These men volunteer for one of the world's most dangerous jobs - unbelievable.
I agree. This film really made me appreciate our troops. I’d be curious to hear from some active duty servicemen who’ve served in these scenarios and find out how authentic the film portrayed what’s actually going on over there.
I knew very little about The Hurt Locker
as the film began. The only images I remembered were of explosions and a guy in a bomb squad suit pulling up seven bombs from under the sand. I thought it looked O.K. but…boy was I in for a treat!
I had heard a little bit of buzz going into the film, but didn’t know exactly what to expect. The film had me on the edge of my seat the entire time.
I’ve seen my share of action movies but this film is definitely more artistic that gratuitous. Without question, the camera angles and realistic explosions make this an incredible visual experience.
Think of the moment in films where your hero has only three minutes to defuse a bomb. Now consider a movie where the central character’s job is just that--intense, fascinating stuff.
And it’s that kind of intensity that makes The Hurt Locker
so good. At one point I actually asked, “Is anyone else on pins and needles waiting for something bad to happen?” I experienced that feeling for well over half of the film.
True. But add to that good storytelling and realistic dialogue. This isn’t just a mindless “bomb-detonating” action thriller.
From fantastic images to stellar cameos to the intensity of every scene, The Hurt Locker
is “Theater Worthy.”
I really enjoyed the film. I probably would have given the film a similar score, but I had trouble relating with the central characters. “Likeability” is huge for me. Today’s film-makers love showing what they feel to be “real” and “raw” heroes… that’s code for “flawed.” Call me old fashioned, but I like characters with a little more “character.” As entertaining as the film was, I wasn’t in love with the characters.
It’s definitely worth the rent though, hence my score: “Rental.”
SHOULD KIDS SEE IT?
There is plenty of war violence and language—probably true to the way it is over there. Nothing gratuitous. It’s up to you if you think you would show that to your teenagers.
Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):
- What are some of the messages or themes you observed in this movie?
- How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this movie?
- How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this movie to actually living out those opinions?
, president of The Source for Youth
Ministry, is the author of numerous books including the new
Should I Just Smash My Kid's Phone?
, and youth ministry books like
Ministry By Teenagers
Connect: Real Relationships in a
World of Isolation
, and the award winning book
Do They Run When They See You Coming?
speaks and trains
at conferences, churches and events across North
America, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his
. You can follow Jonathan on
, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help.
Jonathan and his wife Lori, and their three teenagers Alec, Alyssa and Ashley live