On sale and after it did so well at the Oscars, I figured it was about time I caught up with the belle of this year's movie ball. I've not got an awful lot to say, but I dig it. There are parts of the second half where you begin to think "well that's just REALLY reckless" and you start to distance yourself, but this brief portion of the film lies sandwiched between tense and thrilling bomb defusal sequences. The drama and intensity of the situation these guys goes through is writ large thanks to Bigelow's assured direction and Boal's ballsy script.
In the hands of a male director, The Hurt Locker could have easily become a misguided melting pot of masculinity. Not to play-up the 'Bigelow being a woman' factor unnecessarily, but it's abundantly clear that Bigelow really understands the male psyche - far better than any man, I'd wager. Sometimes the best outlook on a situation can come from the outside, and so it is the case with The Hurt Locker's macho world of bomb disposal. It's a tough job that takes its toll and feeds on bravado, ego and measured risk ... the 'sanity in an insane world' thing.
As usual it'd be best to try and avoid or ignore the Oscars hooplah surrounding it to let the movie talk to you on its own terms (which was how I approached the devestatingly good Brokeback Mountain), because it's a flick really worthwhile seeing (and indeed the high point of the 'Iraq-tion' sub-genre ... I mean that as a compliment mind you, because yeah, movies about the current Iraq war go down like a lead balloon, but The Hurt Locker isn't about the war - that's incidental, it could be any warzone - this film is about the male leads and only about them. It's an incisive glimpse into the male mind in extreme circumstances, and that's what Bigelow does best.