Movie Review: The Hurt Locker


Starring: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Guy Pierce, terrorists, massive explosions

Total Running Time: 131 minutes

In the wake of Oklahoma Cities “Snow Death 2010” I was forced by powers beyond my control to stay at home instead of travel the necessary 3 ½ hours to Arlington, TX and participate in the Texas Rangers Fanfest 2010… *sob*.  My “Mecca” would have to wait one more year.

“Snow Death 2010″… only the strong survived

Despite my initial depression, screaming outbursts, heavy sighs and uncontrollable sobbing… I slowly began to mend (notice I said I’m not over it yet… nor will I ever be).  Bunny suggested we rent a movie from Cox “On Demand”… she’d let me have the pick of whatever I wanted

Perhaps this was the beginning of my luck changing.

I selected a movie I’ve been hearing A LOT of good things about: The Hurt Locker.

The movies scenery is a depressing one… it takes place in year 2004, Afghanistan.  The major players of the movie are a group of utterly fearless soldiers whose main job is to disarm bombs of all kinds across the Afghani countryside.  These could be bombs found in cars, concealed in trashcans, buried under the sand, dirty bombs, IED’s, etc.  It certainly is an interesting concept since it never really occurred to me that such a job existed!  Even if I had known of its existence… I probably wouldn’t have thought it was a career you could center a whole two hour movie around!

Regardless of my complete ineptitude at the existence of such a career, one of which I would assume has a high turnover (or instant death) rate, the director did an okay job of molding a story around it.  I say “okay” in italics because I didn’t think the movie’s story line was very solid.  As far as the representation of the job itself and the absolute hopelessness of war-torn, terrorist ridden Afghanistan… it was on point.  It made me feel good I don’t have worry about stepping on land mines on my way to work every morning.

He’s not having a good day

One particular point of the movie that bothered me though and one they never explained is the fact that these guys would come to disarm bombs that most of the time seemed to be abandoned or complete neighborhoods, schools and work places would be cleared out before the bomb squad would arrive.  What’s the point in bombing if your bomb never goes off and/or doesn’t cut down a huge swath of people?  Most of the time, there actually was a terrorist standing “behind the curtain” ready to flip a switch to send the bomb squad and every living organism within 100 yards into the stratosphere.  But in the 20 minutes it took the bomb squad to disarm the exploding car, trash can or dirt mound… the terrorist was apparently picking his nose because he always seemed to wait until it was too late to blow them up. 

Perhaps the movie is telling us that “Yo!  Terrorists are freakin’ stupid.”  If that’s the underlying motive of the movie… then I say “Hell yeah.”

Another interesting point about this movie I found intriguing was the fact that the director used relative unknown actors in the lead roles… while using more prominent actors in smaller roles.  David Morse (The Rock, Disturbia), Guy Pierce (Memento, Ravenous), Ralph Fiennes (Harry Potter, Red Dragon) and Evangeline Lilly (Lost) all make an appearance but only long enough for you to say, “Hey!  There’s ‘insert actor/actress name here’ from ‘insert movie/TV show here’!”

Jeremy Renner (can’t say I’ve seen him in anything else… but apparently he’s going to be in the new Avengers movie) plays SFC William James, a Billy Badass type dude that seems to be scared of nothing!  He disarms bombs without his protective space suit, stands down oncoming cars with nothing more than a pistol and buys video porn from an Afghani kid only to be disappointed by the its low-grade and shaky quality.  Having disarmed more than 600 bombs in his career, he’s intimidated by nothing… except being a responsible husband and father i.e. the most difficult job on the planet.

William James: Bomb disarmer, badass, gunslinger, future lung cancer patient and bad father

The story mainly focuses around him and hits on a few of the struggles of his comrades.  If anything… it’s raw.  It’s real.  It bleeds with the horrors of what the world has become outside of this free and comfortable land we live in called the United States of America.

Despite its entirely real depiction of what it must be like over there… I have to give the movie demerits on its inability to really have a storyline!  It went in so many directions.  I was disappointed time and time again when I thought the movie was going somewhere only to be hung to dry.

I truly expected more from the movie… and unfortunately I always seem to be disappointed when I go into a movie expecting too much.  For this reason… I’ll probably never see Avatar!

I give The Hurt Locker (oh yeah… what they hell is a “Hurt Locker”?) a total of three out of five sunburned Kim Kardashians.

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9 responses to “Movie Review: The Hurt Locker

  1. i agree with you on this, the movie had great potential but it was lacking …. it going somewhere. i do believe that you have to, nah must see avatar in the theater in 3d its the only way to see it. i don’t believe you will have the same experance on you tv. and that is may 2 cents. hhaah

  2. I loved The Blind Side! Check it out! True story (mostly!) and no razzle dazzle effects needed!
    “Mr.Ed”

    • chriskoenig4324

      Hey Ed… actually seen The Blind Side and LOVED it. I should do a review on that movie! I don’t know why I didn’t think of that!

  3. At this very moment we have, in house, a RedBox copy of Hurt Locker that John requested to watch when he gets back from the gym…

  4. Mollien (Mom) Koenig

    Hey, you used my photo! It’s great, isn’t it? Too bad the movie wasn’t. (not that I’ll ever watch it). But, if you ever figure out why it’s called “Hurt Locker”, let me know.

  5. Have you never seen “Swat”? That’s what I recognize Jeremy Renner from. I’ll probably never see this movie, but I think you should totally see Avatar. Just cut down your expectations, and you’ll love it. Whenever you expect too much, you always come away disappointed.

  6. So. Why is it called The Hurt Locker? Why, Chris? WHY? WHYYYYYY?????

  7. Fantastic post – and great domain by the way!

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