The Hurt Locker: One big pile of suck (open spoilers)

Full Disclosure: I heard about the movie long before it won the Oscar for Best Picture, but I passed on it because my Iraq/Afghanistan Tough Guy Buddy War Movie tank was completely full. I had seen a few of the other nominations and really liked a few, so I thought, if this was better then I should see it…

No. The Hurt Locker sucked and I’ll tell you why.

To add tension they change the subjects occupation - They’re fucking bomb techs not 3 man assault squads, its like Rambo being a CSI as well.

Inexplicable scenes aplenty were thrown in for cheap character development and lame tension - So the first time we see James diffuse a bomb he takes 10 steps and throws a smoke grenade (he didn’t even really know Sanborn so trying to get under his skin is retarded). A taxi charges through a checkpoint and almost runs James over but he stops just in time because James has a handgun pointed at him ???, he refuses to back up ???. James finally gets to the bombs and disarms them while the terrorists watches and for some reason doesn’t detonate them ???. Later the three are on bomb disposal duty and Sanborn suggests to Eldridge they kill James because he puts their lives at risk. I would suggest that it’s the guy next to the bomb thats most at risk and if you’re worried about snipers you need more backup because you’re only 3 fucking bomb techs. Out on patrol they come across British special forces and theres about 4 minutes of lame predictable standoff that could have been avoided if the guys dressed as Arabs shouted ‘we’re British’. Also turns out both Sanborn and James are trained Marksmen. :rolleyes: Eldridge is in severe pain from a shattered femur but doesn’t make a sound until the two terrorists kidnapping him are hunted down and killed. Eldridge is pissed at James cause getting shot hurts and not walking for 6 months sucks but in the beginning of the movie Eldridge is sure he’ll die in the combat zone, limping awhile has got to be better than dying.

There is no antagonist - The plot lacks tension because there is no force the opposing hero must overcome, I hear you saying ‘how bout the bombs’ but I 'll argue those were just obstacles, they never represent an entity unto themselves until the very end when James admits it’s the only thing he loves, thereby flashing back to the start of the movie. The heroes motivation and focus on goals are not twists and isn’t something we should have to wait till the end of the movie to discover.

There is no climax - None, there just isn’t one.

There are many more but I think this is the point where I ask you if you want a Pizza Roll.

I wasn’t as high as other people on this movie, but the acting jobs were well done. I will admit that the film seemed to be (IMO) extremely unrealistic re the actual work of taking care of bombs and TV CSI shows are exactly the right analogy. The one man revenge mission to the (thought to be murdered) kids apartment was also kind of stupid.

I think the reason it was well regarded was that, aside from the CSIness aspect the film captured the language, emotion, and overall feel of what it was like to be in a crew of men waiting to get out of Iraq. Plot holes aside the language, the acting, the “realness” of the characterizations and the technical elements put you “there”. I think people liked the perceived visceralness of that experience.

On a separate note if you’re really criticizing it for a lack of “climax” I think you’re kind of missing the point of the film.

But the writer/director used exposition to pander to what it thought was a moronic audience. And that buddy-buddy drunk wrestling was more homoerotic than real, the audience has no reason to believe these guys were close at all. Between meeting him for the first time and the predictably sensitive ‘do I have what it takes?’ question Sanborn and James spend like 40 minutes on screen together, and only 30 minutes after Sanborn was going to murder him. James is the only person in this movie that could be considered to have a character as far as I’m concerned.

That war is an adrenaline high that gets soldiers addicted…yeah, groundbreaking.

Yeah, it was great. I can’t believe they had the guts to have the newbie on the squad be a crazy tough guy who plays by his own rules. I haven’t seen that since Lethal Weapon.

Thanks for making this thread. The Hurt Locker is a steaming pile of shit. I was so psyched to watch this movie- everyone said it’d be fucking great. I thought it’d be another Jarhead or something, the way they were praising its realism.

But nope. The entire thing fucking blows.

In another thread they suggested that this film having a female director made the critics look on it favorably. I’m not ready to jump on that bandwagon, but seriously, there’s got to be a reason they heaped so much praise on this film. Was there just nothing else to shine the spotlight on?

Thanks for making this thread. The Hurt Locker is a steaming pile of shit. I was so psyched to watch this movie- everyone said it’d be fucking great. I thought it’d be another Jarhead or something, the way they were praising its realism.

But nope. The entire thing fucking blows.

In another thread they suggested that this film having a female director made the critics look on it favorably. I’m not ready to jump on that bandwagon, but seriously, there’s got to be a reason they heaped so much praise on this film. Was there just nothing else to shine the spotlight on?

I wouldn’t go so far as to call it “one big steaming pile of suck,” but I too was underwhelmed. I went in with high expectations, but I came away feeling like “meh.” My problem was that I just couldn’t get myself to care all that much for the Jeremy Renner character. I didn’t hate it, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it again.

You know the second half of Full Metal Jacket? It’s basically like that, just not as funny.

Joker, Animal Mother, Doc Jay, 8 Ball, Raptor Man. Ten years after seeing that movie I can name most of the main characters, I had to look up the names of these people and I saw it only two days ago.

There is a scene in Four Brothers where the brothers wrestle with each other, that was a fantastic scene that made you believe those guys were really close. Perhaps this female director doesn’t really understand male bonding.

I’m not going to be the guy who says “you don’t get it,” but I also think you’re approaching it from the wrong angle. I don’t think it’s a tough guy buddy movie at all, like, whatever the opposite is, that’s what it is.

I also think that a lot of the confusing fizzling out tensions are intentional, and right in line with the fact that there isn’t a Bad Guy that gets his comeuppance at the end. I can understand your problem with the film if you wanted it to be about some military dudes who are like fighting in the war and totally fuck up some terrorists, but I don’t think it was fair of you to have those expectations. It’s not a hero movie. It’s not a movie about a battle that the good guys need to win, and it I think very very deliberately and intentionally plays down any climactic moments that do occur.

Because, you know, when you’re one of these guys, you have no way of knowing at the time whether something weird is happening, or whether you’re about to be killed. There’s not a screenplay you can consult to see what’s being foreshadowed here by this encounter. It isn’t clear when it happens that this is going to be your last patrol, your last day on duty, your last day alive, whatever. I didn’t love the film, but I think you’re being extremely unfair to what it was.

And in terms of the point of the ending you referenced, you are mistaken:

it’s not a flashback. He’s on duty in Delta company at the end of the film, and we saw him with Bravo company.

No, that’s probably fair and I guess I don’t get it. It’s not for me to say what the director should go for, I guess I’m just saying it didn’t work for me on any level.

However, if the intention wasn’t a tough guy movie at all, they shouldn’t have stuffed tough guy dialogue in every scene.

While true, reality doesn’t necessarily make for a compelling plot.

I too was underwhelmed. Still at least there’s always the eight or so hours of Generation Kill to watch instead.

It’s weak for a Best Picture winner, but then the field was weak this year. There were no timeless classics in the Oscar field. (Though I suspect some movies that didn’t even get nominated will one day achieve that status…)

I’m a bit surprised that much of the complaints in the first part of the OP boil down to “it’s not realistic” and the complaints in the second part of the OP were “it’s too realistic, there needs to be a single bad guy and a climax to the film.”

It didn’t deserve an Oscar, it’s not realistic at all, but it is a very good film. I found the characters compelling (I don’t need to love the characters for them to interest me) , the story had me on the edge of my seat, and what it had to say about the real world intriguing.

Man vs. society or man vs. himself is a legitimate dichotomy that this film would fall under. There doesn’t always have to be an antagonist personified by a human being to make a film compelling.

I can only assume the folks who were underwhelmed saw it on DVD.

I saw it in a state-of-the-art theater, Kansas City’s Mainstreet. It’s right down the street from AMC’s world headquarters, and this is the theater they built to test new technologies. The theater is all 4K digital projection, 11 channel sound and (especially relevant to this film) bass shakers under every seat.

I walked out of that film awed. It made me feel like I was in that situation, just pummeled by the experience. I’ve seen at least 80 films in that particular theater, all in the same seat, and none of them impacted me in the same way. It is a great film, and she was the year’s best director.

I’d be curious how many people who didn’t like it saw it on home video?

Never said there needs to be a bad guy I said there should be an antagonist which means ‘a character, group of characters, or an institution, who represents the opposition’. I specifically said ‘a force’ which encompasses all of those. Real life doesn’t need a climax, every story not Waiting for Godot should have one.

Didn’t say the antagonist has to be a human being, and I agree that the conflicts you pointed out can be a fantastic story, I just didn’t see enough character development to know that that was in fact the story. We shouldn’t have to wait until the end to find out what the fuck our protagonist is thinking.

I saw it on pay-per-view and thought it was good, but didn’t think it was worthy of a Best Film Oscar.
I still think the only reason it won was people who wanted to stick it to James Cameron by choosing his ex-wife as Best Director and her relatively low budget Hurt Locker as Best Film to show you don’t need a gazillion dollars and special effects.

For me, the whole film was about an adrenaline junkie who couldn’t/wouldn’t give up the thrill. I think the only scene I really liked was of him at home with his wife and kid, and you saw how utterly miserable he was as a “normal” guy/father/husband. It was a quiet, short scene - but spoke volumes.

Otherwise, I think you have some valid points in the OP - it was sort of a hodge-podge of action scenes tied together with only the flimsiest of plot.

"How 'bout you Sitnam, you got a girl back home?