Sunday, August 29, 2010

Best of the Decade #18: The Hurt Locker

Kathryn Bigelow displays her mastery of exacting tension in this exceptional war thriller about a U.S. bomb squad disarming explosives in Baghdad. It's a big breakthrough for star Jeremy Renner, excellent as a reckless cowboy who is virtually addicted to defusing bombs, hence the film's tagline "war is a drug". During his month-long tour, Renner's character has his eyes opened to the nastiness of the war he's fighting, but experiences internal conflict because he still depends on the adrenaline rush of playing with fire. Tensions are also rampant within the bomb squad unit, especially between Renner and Anthony Mackie, superb as war-weary sergeant furious with Renner's dangerous antics. DP Barry Ackroyd uses handheld camerawork to extremely dramatic effect, particularly for the POV shots that pull the audience right into the action. Ditto to the exhilarating film editing of Bob Murawski and Chris Innis.

(This was an excerpt from my full review which you can revisit here.)

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