....One of the many films of 2009 that I didn't get around to seeing in the cinema. This film, directed by Kathryn Bigelow, is set in and during the war in Iraq. Focusing particularly on a U.S bomb squad unit, the feature is over flowing with tension & passion, whilst stunning attention to detail is evident in its direction.
We are taken on an intense ride with SSgt. William James, (Jeremy Renner), a bomb disposal expert, who's adrenalin never stomps pumping and whom we begin to realise has an addiction to danger, often jeopardising his colleagues. But beneath the bravado, we see flashes of a more human & emotional person - notably in his unlikely kinship with 'Beckham', and his big brother-like relationship with Spc. Owen Elridge.
But for me the real triumph lay in the attention to detail. The cinematography is superb throughout, keeping it incredibly real and pulling me in to the action. The highlight, and by far the best scene was when SSgt. James & Sgt. Sanborn lay in the desert during a shoot-out with distant Iraqis. It is a slow scene, patient in its build-up. A close-up shot of a fly landing on an eyelid. Tension building. Their the soldiers lay, silent & still for hours until night fell. Their job, eventually, was done.
I was slightly disappointed with the ending, I felt it came over a little Hollywood.....you know what I mean - slow motion, soundtrack, the hero wins out. But ultimately it is a fantastically observed, directed and acted film and well worth seeing.