100 movies: The Hurt Locker

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100 movies of 2012

Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy!

The Hurt LockerThe Hurt Locker (21/04/12)

Forced to play a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse in the chaos of war, an elite Army bomb squad unit must come together in a city where everyone is a potential enemy and every object could be a deadly bomb.

With Jeremy Renner turning up in this week’s big release – Avengers Assemble – I figured now would be a good time to catch up with the role that really put him out there.

Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker is probably one of the most realistic war film I’ve seen in a while. It feels like a bit of a muted affair. The emphasis is purely on following the bomb disposal team. Which is where this film wins for me. It gives you, probably, a good idea of just how high the stakes are for these guys out there who do what they do as regularly as we, say, go to work. Only their work environment’s a bit more prickly.

Jeremy Renner’s great. His character’s clearly cracking at the seams. He’s holding it together. Just. It’s his work that gets him through. Despite his character being a little bit tough, I found it easy to connect to him. To get behind him.

There was one scene that really stood out for me. When the team were pinned down and they were trying to out-snipe being sniped themselves. That was intense. It felt real.

However… I didn’t quite see what all the fuss was about with this film. I don’t not think it’s a good film. It is. But not sure I get the hype that surrounds it. Like I said before, I won’t deny this is a superbly made film, I just don’t quite see the amazing in it. Definitely appreciate it for what it is though.
Rating: 3/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

30 Films so far this year

  1. The Tourist 1/5 (02/01/12)
  2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 5/5 (03/01/12)
  3. World’s Greatest Dad 2/5 (14/01/12)
  4. Haywire 3/5 (19/01/12)
  5. Dead Snow 3/5 (20/01/12)
  6. The Artist 5/5 (21/01/12)
  7. Priest 2/5 (05/02/12)
  8. The Muppets 5/5 (15/02/12)
  9. Faster 4/5 (19/02/12)
  10. Chronicle 4/5 (22/02/12)
  11. Safe House 4/5 (24/02/12)
  12. Reservoir Dogs 4/5 (25/02/12)
  13. This Means War 4/5 (02/03/12)
  14. The Royal Tenenbaums 3/5 (03/03/12)
  15. Reign of Fire 3/5 (04/03/12)
  16. Dear John 2/5 (04/03/12)
  17. Road to Perdition 5/5 (05/03/12)
  18. The Three Musketeers 3/5 (06/03/12)
  19. The Eagle 2/5 (10/03/12)
  20. Everybody’s Fine 2/5 (14/03/12)
  21. Frankenstein 4/5 (15/03/12)
  22. Love and Other Drugs 2/5 (15/03/12)
  23. You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger 2/5 (17/03/12)
  24. The Big Lebowski 5/5 (18/03/12)
  25. The Hunger Games 3/5 (23/03/12)
  26. Headhunters 4/5 (07/04/12)
  27. Super 1/5 (07/04/12)
  28. The Cabin in the Woods 5/5 (13/04/12)
  29. Watchmen 4/5 (14/04/12)
  30. The Hurt Locker 3/5 (21/04/12)


  1. Yeah not sure if it quite deserved all th praise it got. It felt a bit like Twister to me. Wierd comparison but that film just has them going from one twister to another and they get bigger and bigger. I felt like that was the same with this, only it’s bombs not twisters. Silly really but that’s how I felt. Some brilliantly tense scenes though and Renner is great!

    • Ha! Love the Twister comparison. Totally see it too. From one dervish to another. Very little tying them together, except for the tally of how many days left.

      I had the biggest crush on Renner when he first appeared in an episode of Angel all those years ago and so happy to see him really making it now 😀

      (Twister’s one of my biggest guilty pleasure films. I love it!)

  2. I’m glad I’m not the only one who did not LOVE this movie… like you said, I don’t see what’s all the fuss about. It’s good but NOT great. It even prompted me to write this post: http://flixchatter.net/2010/02/23/random-thoughts-what-critical-darlings-you-cant-sing-praises-of/

    Sorry to disagree on Renner though, I didn’t think he was so excellent in it, I mean he’s okay but I’d rather watch Sharlto Copley in District 9 any day! I never felt that emotionally connected to his character for some reason. Ah well, I’m in the minority in that regard though, as Hollywood seems to be quite taken by him.

    • I’m with Hollywood on Renner! Though, I’ve had a big ol’ silly crush on him since he was in one episode of Angel all those years ago.

      He did a good job here for making, what could have been, a completely unlikeable character just a bore to watch. I think he was a bit of a tough kind of character to play, as everything was held just beneath the surface.

      You gotta love those movie critics. They get carried away a few times.

  3. I haven’t seen Hurt Locker before, but I believe Jeremy Reiner’s career as a superstar action hero started here. After this movie, he BLEW up! LOL I’m not complaining or anything.

    • He had a couple of smallish roles before Hurt Locker, I remember he was in SWAT with Colin Farrel, but yeah. after Hurt Locker, people took a lot more notice of him.

  4. Hi, Jaina and company:

    Interesting choice.

    ‘The Hurt Locker’ is a good film. The set direction is first rate. All of the tiny details are given attention. Kathryn Bigelow is finally given an admirable budget which is spent wisely and frugally to deliver a story and action sequences she is noted for, And puts Jeremy Renner on the map in the process.

    Is it a Best Film? No. Not even close. Worthy of its Oscars for editing and sound. Once the film started getting traction, it felt like the Academy began an Affirmative Action push for Best Film. Though it was fun to see the envy in Barbra Streisand’s eyes when she presented the Oscar to Ms. Bigelow.

    • I found the traction fleeting. When there wasn’t an intense scene, the film just got a little, well, boring.

    • Ha! There was a hurt the Hurt Locker vibe going around on that day, huh?

      I think I’m getting soft on movies. As if I’m hurting their feelings if I don’t give them a benefit of the doubt.

      Off to read your thoughts – love reading someone shredding a film to bits.

  5. I really enjoyed The Hurt Locker, but it’s not a Best Picture type film for me. I’m glad it won over Avatar, though. I agree with you on Jeremy Renner in this — his terrific performance made me a fan of his.

    • Oh, the fact that it won over Avatar means it’s done it’s job! But it must have been a weak year!

  6. I didn’t understand what the fuss about this one was either. I thought it was a very forgettable film, quite boring too. Renner was fantastic but he is not so great yet to be able to carry the movie on his own.

    • Agreed on Renner. He was good, but not as strong as he needed to be to hold the entire film together himself.

  7. I liked the movie but it was TOTALLY unrealistic from a military standpoint. That bugged me big time while watching the movie because there is dozens and dozens of inaccuracies, so many of them that people started making lists of them on the web.

  8. I recently saw this for the first time as well, and I think I pretty much agree with all the sentiments here. Renner was great and really made the film, I thought that the tension between him and the two other guys was done really well. I also really like the way that the camera was more often than not at street level with the characters, so you felt like you were right in the action. However, it is not a fantastic film, and probably not Best film material.

    • I really was thinking it was going to be an epic, modern war film with all of the accolades it collected. Needed to remind myself that awards does not equal greatness.

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