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The Hurt Locker Report (Assessment)

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Updated: Jun 20th, 2019

The movie Hurt Locker was released in 2008 at a film festival in Italy. Hurt Locker is an American action film directed and produced by Bigelow Kathryn. Just as the movie was criticized for the reckless nature of the uniformed soldiers, it went ahead to win many accolades from army veterans. The movie was produced at a time when the Middle East peace process was a global issue. Hurt Locker was shot in Jordan, some miles away from Iraq.

This was because the situation in Baghdad was unpleasant and insecure for the cast and Crewmembers. However, the scenes used in the film were typical of an Iraqi style. Natives from Baghdad acted as refugees in the film. This gave the film its major storyline just as the producer described. Hurt Locker won many awards for best movie director, best screenplay, best war action movie to mention a few. To date, the movie remains the best film that portrayed the life of a combat soldier in Iraq (Horton, 2009).

The hurt locker was an outdoor film, the producer took time to show the harsh environments that existed in the Middle East and the dangers an average citizen of Iraq encountered on a daily basis. Unlike many other action movies that were produced in a room, Hurt Locker portrayed a harsh and terrible life conditions. There was nothing intriguing about the interior decoration, it was purely a war movie, and it was done outside.

The landscapes used in the movie were the rugged mountains and deserts, which was typical of an Iraqi terrain (Horton, 2009). The dry lands and the rough roads that were filled with dusts and stones provide the natural costumes for the movie. Hurt Locker was quite different from other movies because there was really no need for the beautiful costumes instead the movie was characterized with hard lines, blood, and explosions. The movie was fully packed with breathtaking scenes that made the audience love the film.

The external decoration was well coordinated in such a way that made the actors and cast comfortable. The men were armed to the teeth, and that alone provided the feeling of real combat, and the ability to perform exemplary. Ordinarily when a person is dressed in a camouflaged uniform, he/she becomes aware of the enormous responsibility attached (Horton, 2009).

The movie was loosely based on the testimonies of Mark Boal, a journalist attached to an elite bomb squad that operated in Iraq between 2003 and 2004. The transcripts of Mark’s testimony were used to act in the film. Kathryn Bigelow wanted to explore the inside story of an elite team in the heart of a major war. Although many news agencies tried to show and report stories from major conflicts at that time, Kathryn believed that, their stories fell short of a vivid account of each elite unit in a war situation.

Kathryn believed that the reporters that covered war actions in real situation had limitations and could only describe what they feel at certain times without physically taking pictures of the area. In addition, an elite team will not allow a photographer to go that far in trying to cover their major actions in real combat.

Unlike other comedies or action movies that were shot in a quiet atmosphere, Hurt Locker was produced in Jordan at a time that refugees from Iraq were resident in Jordan. The movie cast performed well in the film and this contributed to the reason why the movie was chosen as the best movie in 2009.

The movie did not show the rich class individuals and their extravagant lifestyle, instead it portrayed a society without the rule of law, and a society where survival was best served hot. The environment used in the film reminded the audience that peace was far-fetched in Iraq and the inhabitants were at the mercy of the tyrants and warlords. Although it was a war movie, the settlements used were modern buildings that portrayed civilization of Iraq in modern times.

The social status of the inhabitant’s mostly average class was observed throughout the film. Though non-racial in nature, the characters were mostly Americans, and those who portrayed Iraqi citizens were not natives of Iraq. Except for the refugees who were natives of Iraq, the remaining casts were not from Iraq.

Hurt Locker went on to win many awards even though it had much criticism. Some army veterans argued that the reckless behavior of some of the officers of the elite bomb squad did not represent in true life the real state of an average marine. The co-ordination between the soldiers was poor.

The interaction between members of the team was poor, and not befitting for such an elite team (Horton, 2009). In some instances in the movie, the zealous captain of the bomb squad gave himself a mission that was not sanctioned by the American command. This scenes over heated the argument of how this classic movie should be rated.

The characters in the film were not specially treated unlike other movies, they never had a perfect room, or a private space or a kitchen filled with stylish furniture. The producer created a typical scene that will remind the audience it was wartime and not bedtime fantasy.

The entire cast had to perform in extreme temperatures and had to work day and night just to maintain a perfect storyline. Most of the cast were at their best in the movie, but the major role played by Williams James was controversial. James was a reckless soldier that could have killed his entire team because of his conduct.

Nevertheless, James was best at bomb disposal, his précised timing and controls of his environment provide him with the support he needed to discharge his duty as a solider. His rugged attitude was a problem to his assistant Sanborn. Sanborn was a soldier with a humble background and was ready to serve his country. His allegiance to his country became a tough call when he planned to eliminate James because of his behavior (Horton, 2009).

Most of the characters and Crewmembers in the film were American citizens. Although the film was non-racial, some people argue that the cast should have been Iraq natives. The boundary of racism is yet to be broken in Hollywood’s movies; many producers have tried to bridge the gap.

Like in most movies, the enemies are made to wear Arab attire. This means that wars are majorly between the West and the Middle East. The movie is excellent and a thriller with heart pounding suspense. Every second that went by was considered the last for each member of the unit. Hurt locker remains a movie to see if you are looking for real action.


Horton, A. (2009). “Review: The Hurt Locker”. Army of Dude. Retrieved from

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