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To be honest, it took a while for this movie to really start off. I was getting fed up and tired with the movie its shaky cam and sudden zooms. A movie making style that is really starting to get overused and old. It's a technique mostly used to place you right into the action and madness of things but this movie did it almost non-stop. The wasn't really a clear story and I wasn't too taken by any of the characters but the movie reaches a certain point that you accept that this is not an average everyday war movie but one that's unique and truly original with its approach.

This is probably the key for watching this movie; just take it for what it is and don't try to compare it to anything else. When doing so, you'll be taken by this movie and get sucked in with its almost constant tension. It makes this movie also work really well as a war movie.

The movie almost constantly balances between a realistic feeling anti-war movie and one that is made more for entertainment and with some real action in it. This approach is what makes this movie an unique watch. Just like it was quite refreshing that the movie wasn't really following a story, which you can call lazy writing and film-making but it actually in the long run only adds to the movie its realistic and raw feeling.

I don't think many people knew how to take this movie at the time and I bet the studio also had a hard time marketing it in the right way and toward the right audience. It's the reason why "The Hurt Locker" never became an hit at the box offices but once it started to get more and more recognition and started to receive some big awards, the movie suddenly became much more popular and one of the front runners at the 2010 Academy Awards. It was the battle of the exes, with Kathryn Bigelow and James Cameron as the two favorites to win all of the big Oscar's. It was eventually Kathryn Bigelow's "The Hurt Locker" that beat James Cameron's "Avatar". The $11,000,000 one beating out the $237,000,000 costing one and Bigelow became the first female to receive the best directing Oscar.

And to be honest, I never have been a fan of Kathryn Bigelow's directing and movies. This movie came pretty much out of nowhere from her, since nothing in the past indicated that she would ever directed a multiple Oscar winning production. You could say that 7 Oscar's, which is pretty much for any movie, was a bit too much credit for this movie but you can't really hold that against the actual movie. It doesn't make it any less of a solid one.

I also definitely won't overpraise it though. The movie is still really too flawed for that. I still couldn't really get into any of the characters and the movie still felt like a distant one, despite all of the attempts to place you right into the middle of things with its camera-work and directing approach. So you could say that the movie is slightly lacking on all of the emotional levels, while technically the movie still does about everything right, which still ensures you'll eventually start to get sucked in by the movie.

It also truly helps that the movie features an original concept. It focuses on a small elite army bomb squad unit, who get send out to defuse bombs in all forms and shapes, during the latest Iraqi war, constantly putting their lives on danger, also often because of their own doings. It shows how war can be a drug to some and how some people will go to the extreme to get their adrenaline fix. It does a really good job at capturing the essence and sense of a modern war.

A great but above all- unique and original movie.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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