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"The Hurt Locker" Film Review

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Serving in the armed forces isn’t as easy as it looks. Most people have a relative who have served or know of someone who served in the armed forces. At the same time, not too many people know what the courageous soldiers endure during times of war. The Hurt Locker is a film that accurately depicts the horrific and nerve wrecking events that soldiers go through on a daily basis trying to live to see the next day. The film focuses on three main characters, William James, Owen Eldridge and JT Sanborn also known as the Bravo Company and how they coop with their time in Iraq.

William James is hooked to the rush of deactivating bombs; he is the team leader and an adrenaline junky. During James’ first mission on the team, he was told to disarm bombs in the middle of a street. As he is walking to his destination, he throws a smoke grenade on the ground. Sanborn and his team lost visual and asked him why he used the smoke, James wasn’t inclined to answering their question. He saw another American team of soldiers watching him as he is walking. When suddenly, a taxi drove towards the American soldiers with fast speed. They dodged the taxi, but it is running straight towards James, at that moment, James pulls out his pistol aiming the driver and tells him to back off.

The taxi did not respond and there is a moment of intense silence. James fires two shots on the ground and tells him to back off. The driver still has no respond; then, James fired a shot and shatters the window and walks towards the taxi, pointing the gun at the driver’s head. James again tells the driver to back off and points the direction; then, the driver did what he says. The soldiers pulled the driver out of his car and arrested him. His first mission marks a pattern for James’ reckless behavior throughout the movie. Conversely, James’ is compassionate and has a soft spot for children. When he thought that it was Beckham laying on the table with a bomb in his stomach in the warehouse, instead, of blowing up the boy’s body like he initially planned. He removed the bomb contents from his stomach and carried the dead boy out in his arms.

JT Sanborn has only one goal and that goal is to stay alive and make it back home. He wants more out of life, he wants a child and a wife. Sanborn is jealous and resentful of James’ fearless attitude. While Sanborn was intoxicated, he asked Eldridge if he could be the one wearing the bomb suit. Hinting that he wanted to be the team leader. Sanborn’s job is to protect the team leader, despite his feelings towards James; he truly cares for his well being. In the scene, when James had to deactivate a trunk full of bombs. Sanborn was sent to the roof of a building, so he can watch over the team and Eldridge was providing cover on the ground. Since the bombs were in a vehicle, it was hard for James to discover all the wires to disarm them all. While working under a great amount of pressure, Sanborn tells James that they need to leave by the reason of civilians watching them from the buildings. James told Sanborn that he has to figure it out. Sanborn continues to annoy James to leave but James doesn’t respond, James throws his headset on the ground angrily and continues working to disarm the bomb. He did not know that James discarded his radio, and informs him that the evacuation is complete and they are free to leave. Sanborn found out that James removed his headset through Eldridge. Eldridge tells James that Sanborn wants his headset back on. James responds with a middle finger. Throughout the movie, they have a love- hate relationship because James is continuously putting the team in unnecessary danger.

Owen Eldridge is the most relatable character. He is the youngest of the three is always scared and seem like he is on the verge of a breakdown. Eldridge is caught between James and Sanborn, he knows that he doesn’t belong in Iraq and cannot wait to return home. Eldridge reaches his breaking point when the base doctor joins the team on a mission and is blown up in front of Eldridge; he starts counting down the days until he his time is up. Consequently, Eldridge gets captured by Iraqi insurgents on one of James’ dangerous venture where he insists on hunting down militants responsible for bombing a populated area. Even though James and Sanborn save Eldridge, they accidentally shoot him on the leg. This encounter serves as the final straw for Eldridge and he lays all the blame on James. In conclusion, The Hurt Locker is an accurate depiction of a true war story. It doesn’t exaggerate or sugarcoat the gruesome deaths and harsh realities of wars. Soldiers are brave but they can be scared as well. The film portrayed the struggles that soldiers go through whether it may be just wanting to get home, being scared to die, or the not wanting to leave the war.

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“The Hurt Locker” Film Review. (2019, August 27). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 4, 2021, from
““The Hurt Locker” Film Review.” GradesFixer, 27 Aug. 2019,
“The Hurt Locker” Film Review. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 4 Dec. 2021].
“The Hurt Locker” Film Review [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Aug 27 [cited 2021 Dec 4]. Available from:
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