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Chief among them is Jeremy Renner’s Sergeant William James, who is the focal point for much of The Hurt Locker. The film spends some time digging into his head and why he does what he does, and his approach doesn’t always leave him eye-to-eye with the rest of his squad. Renner, in surely a star-making performance, delivers a rounded, three-dimensional portrayal of a man you could easily write off as a maverick, and the film is significantly enriched as a result.
But then with director Kathryn Bigelow behind the camera delivering her best film to date, The Hurt Locker excels still further. Her gritty, haunting visuals look superb in high definition too, evoking the down-to-earth shooting style Bigelow employs, and making the most of the assorted set-pieces she puts on film. It’s the sound that really gets you too, cleverly eating up the full breadth of a good surround-sound set-up, and carefully teasing you more and more into the film.
Not that you’re likely to need much persuading. The Hurt Locker is a terrific war movie, and a very human one. It’s also packaged on a quality Blu-ray that matches up strong presentation with interesting extra feature. It comes very highly recommended. --Jon Foster