The Hurt Locker Review by Dave

On a friday night I was sitting on the couch with my girlfriend flicking between channels. Having made a full circuit of the available airplay twice, from memory; in my disappointment I flicked across the film Pride and Prejudice. A conversation ensued.

My Wasted Money

Probably resulting from my blatant disregard for Mr Darcy who, in my opinion, looked like some serious bad side burns gone wrong, it was soon discovered that I had not seen the film and it was most likely that I was never planning to- nor had I read the book or contemplated the mini series. Somehow it became necessary that I perform one of these arduous tasks: watch the film or mini series, or read the book. Neither option seemed fair and somehow we decided that she would read the book to me- which, I might add, I have my doubts about.

Now we come Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker. As a illustration of my appreciation of this film, let me say this: if I was given the choice of watching Bigelow’s film or suffering through the sideburns of Mr Darcy- I would watch Mr Darcy, study him, and shout his praises from rooftop upon rooftop. Then I’d watch the mini series thrice- not twice. That introduction was way too long but my point is short: The Hurt Locker was terrible. Please join me as I recapture the brilliance.

Straight off the bat, yes I’m aware that The Hurt Locker (which herin I will refer to as “Hurt” due to prolonged pain it caused me) was nominated for a huge 9 academy awards, of which it won 6 including Best Picture and Best Director. Yes, they are perhaps the two most coveted awards. Yes, it beat Avatar.

Let me inform you of a democratic phrase which fundamentally governs the world: majority rules. Hurt was the lowest grossing film to have ever won Best Picture. Can anyone else here understand? The populace did not want to see this film! The critics will point to the trophies and snarl. I point to the empty seats and wasted time of those who briefly occupied those seats, enduring discomfort and boredom- the likes of which no ticket-purchasing individual should ever experience. Those hip pop-psychologists and critics among us will suggest that the fast-paced, mega budget epic films like Avatar desensitise us to the refined, sophisticated masterpieces like Hurt. Give me a break!

But what about the cinematography? Can you not recall the powerful desert scenes where the camera is almost still for two full minutes, and the struggle and depth of character it demonstrates? No direction has ever captured the reality of war in such a respectful and holistic manner. There is no way you can skirt around the uniqueness of this cinematography.

Give me a drive-thru Big Mac with fries and a super-sized coke and I will be on my way! Putting all red-wine-sipping-critical-appraisal aside, Hurt was akin to watching a mid-shot of a overflowing trash can on the off chance that a beautiful lady beetle would emerge for a mere second. This artistic mumbo jumbo might win awards, but the real award lies with the people. And the people have spoken… And the people have declared this film, bogus.

Did anyone else notice the complete lack of plot? There was no sense of progression or light at the end of any tunnel. Sure, there was a number that would appear on the bottom of the screen to show how many days were left in a particular war assignment. But this was so obviously an afterthought, and without it, there would have been a complete absence of plot progression. I guess the critics like something different. Most films aim to a captivating plot, how about this year we glorify the opposite: no plot? Great. Super. Now let’s award it with Best Picture!

People watch films to escape. I watch films to be entertained and relax. Indeed, a documentary is a legitimate form of film-making. But Hurt was not presented as a documentary. Perhaps it attempted to borrow from Dan Brown’s fiction which cloaks itself as fact. To this I would say, well did you ask permission? Fair enough, the direction and sound gave a realistic impression of the trauma of war and, in these politically sensitive times, Hurt earned the risk-taking card. But that is all the sparkle I can muster on this vintage chevrolet.

Due to its critical acclaim, I have no doubt that any potential below-expected box office results will be sumptuously rectified by DVD and Blu-Ray sales. But in my mind, my viewing was money wasted and time better spent watching the likes of Mr Darcy. I rest my case. Does the defence wish to cross examine the witness? Haha…

I give this film 2 reels out of 5- and a lucky 2.

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2 Comments on “The Hurt Locker Review by Dave”

  1. Sam Says:

    Wow! Such strong comments, of which I do not completely disagree.

    In saying this, I would like to ask you a question: Do you think that the amount of awards it (in my opinion, undeservedly) won, brought down your overall opinion of this film? I feel that was somewhat the case for me.

    If, for example, this film had garnered no such attention, do you feel your opinion would have differed much, if at all?

    Obviously, on a whole, I still felt the movie lacked quite a lot, especially in the story, but I would be interested in what you thought about this.

    • filmstank Says:

      Dear Sam my fellow Filmstank comrad,

      My sincerest apologies for the delayed response. However, I believe this has allowed sufficient time to reflect on my original comments.

      Let me firstly answer your question:

      Do you think that the amount of awards it (in my opinion, undeservedly) won, brought down your overall opinion of this film?

      I would like to say a flat out “no” but I do feel that there was some tall poppy hatred that lurked below the surface that did, indeed, influence my overwhelmingly negative thoughts. I guess I owe to to the film to apologize? Yes? Yeah Right! I may be in the minority when it comes to critical appraisal, but I am still standing by my original comments! Look to the box office. The dollars don’t lie!

      Despite originally thinking my observation was a complete waste of time, I am willing to sit down and watch it again. Of course, this time I will need popcorn and potentially a tasty cola beverage (and perhaps some candy) to keep me company as I brave the film again.

      Dave @ Filmstank
      ps I’m really not a hater, as such, but I do reserve the right- first amendment or alternative jurisdiction counterpart- to freedom to proverbially spank a film if I see fit. Kapish! 🙂

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