The Hurt Locker begins with a quote, "The Rush of Battle is often a potent and lethal addiction, for war is a drug." It then carries us through a world not very well known to most. Unlike the average Iraq War film, The Hurt Locker follows men in the EOD Unit. They specialize in bombs and disarming them. The film follows three men, our lead and protagonist, Staff Sergeant William James (played by a magnificent Jeremy Renner), Sergeant JT Sanborn (played by Anthony Mackie), and Specialist Owen Eldridge (Brian Geraghty). The film quickly catches the audiences undivided attention. With not just the built up suspense and hair raising score, but by our protagonist. The moment we are introduced to Staff Sergeant James, is the moment we like him. A chain smoking, adrenaline junkie, James tends to take the unsafe routes in his missions. Why? Because he can, and most importantly because he is the best at what he does. The suspense within each moment builds, subtly, slowly, almost creeping up on the viewer until you find yourself sitting at the edge of your seat. Like all films it does have subtle flaws.
Although we are supposed to feel a connection and liking to all three characters, one cannot help but feel completely annoyed with Eldridge. Throughout the film he complains, moans, and is basically taken care of like an infant by James and Sanborn. Also the film drags on here and there, but for the most part the audience is so engaged, it is hardly noticeable. The most notable aspect of the film, which most would agree, is the outstanding performance by Renner. Unlike most actors, Renner's performance captivates in his eyes and subtle ways of saying things is cocky yet, endearing. James is quite frankly one of the best performances put out by an actor in years. By the end of the film, you want him to live and hope to God they don't decide to blow him up, just to get a good cry out of the audience. The Hurt Locker is something of a masterpiece, in a world like now today where films and their plots are unoriginal and dull, The Hurt Locker stands on its own and outshines in aspects that go full circle.