DVD: The Hurt Locker

By Drum Digital
04 August 2010

War is the drug

Rating 4/5 Action drama. 2009. 125 min. with Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty. Director: Kathryn Bigelow. 16vl.

This is the film that beat Avatar (directed by Bigelow’s ex, James Cameron) at the Oscars, winning six of the nine gongs it was nominated for, including Best Picture. Bigelow also became the first woman to win Best Director.

But this is no chick-flick. It’s about a threeman US Army unit doing what must be the most dangerous job on Earth – disarming homemade bombs amidst the chaos of urban warfare in Baghdad. What motivates these men? It’s not the pay or patriotism, Bigelow suggests, but their addiction to adrenaline – for them “war is the drug”. She puts you right in the action as she explores each man’s way of dealing with the stress.

With fantastic performances and faultless cinematography and editing, it’s one of the grittiest and most realistic combat films ever, yet it never resorts to the empty, noisy heroics so typical of Hollywood war movies.

This tough, disturbing flick is a riveting must-see. Bonus: featurettes, interviews.

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