Saturday, July 18, 2009


War drama

Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) soldiers are the Army's preeminent tactical and technical explosives experts. They are properly trained and equipped to attack, defeat, and exploit unexploded ordnance (UXO), improvised explosive devices (IED), chemical, biological, and nuclear ordnance and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).

Guy Pearce: Squad Leader of Bravo Company, Sergeant Matt Thompson
Anthony Mackie: Sergeant J.T. Sanborn, head of the support team
Brian Geraghty: Specialist Owen Eldridge
Jeremy Renner: Staff Sergeant William James
Christopher Sayegh: "Beckham"
David Morse: Colonel Reed

It soon becomes apparent that this is a well-acted suspenseful movie with sequences of considerable tension. Frequently there is a palpable sense of foreboding so don’t go to see it expecting a relaxed feet-up experience: it is anything but.

The effective use of a hand-held camera lends itself to capturing the realistic action scenes. In fact all of the camera work is outstanding and unlike most films it tells the story rather than relying on the narrative to do so. How refreshing.

The film does not glorify war; indeed there is no political agenda at all. Nor are there any comic book heroes, just the portrayal of real people doing a dangerous job.

Excellent editing keeps things moving and great attention to detail makes it all too real. The director has been careful to not dwell on the gory aspect of war but the squeamish like me will have to avert their eyes about half way through as Sgts. James and Sanborn check out a suspicious building.

for war violence and language.

• At the beginning of the film, a title card indicates that these events took place in 2004. Seeing someone with a video camera, Sanborn jokingly suggests that it will soon be on YouTube. Trouble is, that website did not come into existence until 2005.
• Specialist Eldridge is playing on an Xbox 360 when Colonel Cambridge comes to see him. This video game console by Microsoft only came on the market in 2005.

The running time is a whopping 2 hours and 7 minutes. But in my opinion, not a second more than necessary.

No comments: