I saw the trailer and listened to all the critical hype, but didn't believe The Hurt Locker could be as good as they made out - I was wrong.
You can keep your giant CGI 'robots in disguise', hungover comedies and 3-D animated prehistoric squirrels, this is a 'real' cinematic gem and 'must-see' Summer movie.
This film about an elite bomb disposal squad on duty in Iraq is superbly suspenseful and totally riveting viewing from start to finish.
Bomb suit movie costume from The Hurt Locker
displayed at ArcLight Hollywood
As always ArcLight Hollywood delivered again, with the actual bomb suit from the movie on display in the cinema foyer.
As they say, "I'm a lover not a fighter" so I don't usually go in for military dramas or war films, but I found The Hurt Locker captivating and so filled with tension that it felt like I spent the whole time watching with my heart in my throat.
It's no surprise that in recent years there's been a plethora of Iraq inspired movies as the real-life events have had such an impact on peoples lives, especially those serving in the military forces, creating many potential stories to be told.
Both the Gulf War and the allied invasion of Iraq have been the inspiration for movies such as Jarhead, The Kingdom and Stop-Loss, each with it's own perspective on the conflicts in the Middle-East.
I'm so glad I overcame my initial reluctance to see The Hurt Locker as it is an almost perfect film, although my one criticism is that it's overly long at 131 minutes and Kathryn Bigelow could have edited down a tad more.
Even though it boasts cameos from Ralph Fiennes (star of Schindler's List and 'Voldemort' in the Harry Potter movies), Guy Pearce (from Priscilla, Memento and L.A. Confidential) and Evangeline Lilly (of TV's LOST fame), the real stars of the show are Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty.
Each actor is totally convincing in their roles as members of the crack bomb disposal team. From Renner's unorthodox and reckless Staff Sergeant James to Mackie as his questioning second-in-command Sergeant Sanborn and Geraghty's frightened Specialist Eldridge, who has the courage to do his duty nonetheless.
It's a tight script, with some real wow moments, amazing visuals and a touch of much needed humour to lighten the tone at times. I give The Hurt Locker four **** stars, it's length and a slightly predictable death being what precludes a fifth star.
The Hurt Locker bomb suit movie costume
I hope you enjoy these photographs of the bomb suit that plays a pivotal role in the movie. The Med-Eng EOD 9 is regarded as one of the world's best body armour bomb suits, so it was a delight to see it up close like this and to watch it worn in the movie by the actors.