Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Hurt Locker

There are lots of bad war films, a bunch of so-so films, and a few good war films. This one was supposed be good, but having just watched it today, I can honestly report that if I saw it in the theater, I may have walked out. Not only is in the "meh" category of films (boring, simplistic, flat), but it is also massively unrealistic. In almost every way, and at almost every turn. I can forgive a film like "Saving Private Ryan" for romanticizing a war that is long over, after all Americans are a simple folk and they need their wars to be simple. But people are in Iraq right now, and somehow that seems much worse. Good war films don't have to be strictly realistic, "Apocalypse Now" for example, but they should only introduce as much fiction as needed, and no more. As in good science fiction, where the sci-fi elements are added to support the story. This would include films like "Blade Runner" or "12 Monkeys." In bad films, the science fiction is used to dazzle the eye and prevent anyone from looking for acting or a story. That would be films like Avatar or the recent Star Wars films. In this film, the ridiculous things going on all the time were just there to entertain where a story or acting could not. Rush up to bombs against all code and regulations? Sure. Diffuse bombs by hand when they could simply be disrupted by a robot? Yes.

The Hurt Locker even had a stereotypical shrink character in it, with about 3 predictable scenes under his belt, who (no need to warn about spoilers because you should never see this film) finally gets into the action one day and dies almost instantly. Please. Also, at one point an innocent man is found locked into an elaborate bomb vest that looks like it cost a few thousand bucks to make. (Compare that to the typical IEDs in Iraq that cost about $5 and take an hour to build and plant.) And as in most lame action films, the bomb is attached to a timer. How can anyone even seriously propose a bomb with a timer like this when making a new film? Call me crazy, but if you want to put a bomb on a timer, why have a display showing it? The bombs in Iraq all typically detonated remotely. Timers just can't ensure that someone will be around at the right time. This film was about on par with top gun, without the 80s action and "fun because it is so bad" appeal.

I am often alone in my rants, but not in this case:

NY Times

This would be a tempting time to include some videos from the real Iraq - the real bombs. But this is a happy place, so instead I will conclude with a word from my favorite arms manufacturer, Bofors. The Heat 751 uses a shaped charge, efp, and a main charge AND it has a cute little rocket engine inside.

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