With the extremely positive reviews surrounding "The Hurt Locker" (It currently has a score of 97% on Rottentomatoes.com) - I just had to see what all the fuss is about. I concur with the reviews, the film is probably the best of the year so far. Here are some things about the film that fascinated me.
1. Jeremy Renner and the rest of the cast - As I said when The Unusuals premiered on ABC earlier this year, Jeremy Renner deserves some time in the spotlight. He has been consistently good during his career, but in this film he is fantastic. I'm talking Oscar-nomination fantastic. Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty are also nomination-worthy. I promise that even if you have no interest in seeing yet another war film, the acting will keep you engaged through the films entirety. Even the brief cameo appearances by Ralph Fiennes and Guy Pearce were memorable.
2. It was directed by a woman - It is not that I don't think a woman can direct an action film, it's just that this is the first time I have seen it done well. Katheryn Bigelow, not only made a great action film but she also revitalized a failing film genre (Iraq war films). It is a film that is overtly male-centric, unapolgetically grim and masterfully suspenseful. There have been dozens of films about the war in Iraq that have been completely mediocre, so it thrills me that a woman actually got it right. I hope this film inspires more female directors to step outside their comfort zone (and also inspires the studios to hire these female directors ...). I also hope Bigelow is recognized come award season for making such a beautiful film.
3. It is a "near-perfect movie" - That is what is on the poster, quoted from Time magazine. This is obviously an intriguing incentive to see the film, but after I saw it I went back to read the actual Time review (I hate reading full-reviews before I see a film) and it states "a near-perfect movie about men in war, men at work. Don't you just love when they cut a sentence down to the first 3 words? I agree with Time magazine, the only flaw that they found for this type of film was the length, which could have easily been fixed. It is certainly not a near-perfect film in my opinion, solely for the fact that part of my dissection of a film is it's ability to be watched repeatedly and this subject matter is not something I would want to watch again.