This year’s festival didn’t see the raft of Iraq war films that the previous years have. The Hurt Locker (tiff) was one of this year’s entries. There’s little about that invasion to explore, though this at least was seen from a different angle: bomb removal specialists. The screenplay came from a reporter who’d been embedded with such a unit and the first 2/3 were quite good, showing the mix of discipline and recklessness needed for that job, and the overall savagery of bomb attacks in an urban setting. However, toward the end it lapsed into some cliches (the John Wayne factor) and hurried through the psychological implications when it should have paused, and that left a sour taste in my mouth.
One slightly odd thing: Ralph Fiennes, Guy Pearce, David Morse and Evangeline Lilly were all in this film, but barely. They were on camera for less than a minute in most cases…too long to be called a cameo (such as the camera panning past Joseph Gordon-Levitt near the beginning of The Brothers Bloom) but too short to be called a real role. The director Kathryn Bigelow (who was there, along with the screenwriter and lead actor) explained this [mild spoiler alert] by saying it was to let us know that no one is safe in Iraq, and that anyone could die at any time, even big movie stars. [/spoilers]
Started off strong, but veered back into the predictable lane at crunch time. Too bad.
[tags]tiff, tiff08, the hurt locker[/tags]