Oscar-winning film Hurt Locker depicts an improvised explosive device recovery team in Iraq. As with most fictional accounts that attempt to hyper-realistically portray the military, Hurt Locker received measured criticism from military experts for its inaccuracies. However, most such experts agreed the film accurately captured the feeling of the Iraq War and the heroism of the recovery teams. But what do those within the military think?
The Web's vibrant community of military bloggers prides itself on frank, tough language and on correcting the civilian world's view of military affairs. Their generally positive reaction to the Hurt Locker, produced by and for civilians, illuminates some facets of the relationship between civilian and military culture in the U.S.
- Hollywood Finally Gets It Operator Dan dismisses the "many technical errors," writing, "you got to remember that this is a Hollywood movie, and there will always be a dramatic license taken with war movies." He praises, "Compared to the other trash that has come about Iraq, the Hurt Locker is a good war movie and the first real decent portrayal of Americans in Iraq by Hollywood." CDR Salamander adds only, "Sounds like The Hurt Locker got it right."
- Yes, 'War Is a Drug' Army of Dude praises the film's tagline, "war is a drug," and its focus on the addiction of combat. "War is indeed is a drug, a horribly destructive thing men do to themselves that gives a rush unlike anything you can find on this planet. I've never had heroin or cocaine, but I bet it hovers near the feeling of a sniper's bullet missing your head by inches," he writes. "That's why I can't stop getting speeding tickets or rewatching old videos from my deployment. I want that feeling back. I haven't kicked the war habit yet."
- Too Many Inaccuracies VetVoice's Kate Hoit denounces it as "Hollywood's version of the Iraq war and of the soldiers who fight it, and their version is inaccurate." Hoit calls the inaccuracies "pure magical bullshit" and concludes "James represents a Hollywood soldier that is fearless, reckless, and is now the face of the 21st century G.I. Joe. And who doesn't love G.I. Joe, right?"
- Thank You, Hurt Locker Op-For's Richard Lowry is grateful. "To the cast and crew of 'The Hurt Locker,' Congratulations and thank you for bringing this powerful message to the American public about an heroic EOD team working in Baghdad. This film provides a microcosm of what it is like to be fighting a 21st Century war in the Middle East. Imagine The Hurt Locker on an epic scale."
- Better Than Usual Hollywood Blackfive's Uncle Jimbo scoffs that at least it isn't as anti-military as most major films. "Well after putting out about a dozen 'US is evil' war flicks, Hollywood slipped up and put out the Hurt Locker which was just silly." He says the forthcoming film Green Zone return to anti-military form. "That appears to be their limit for not hating on the military and our country, because it is sure sounding like Green Zone is back to the proper narrative about the war crime approving mentality that we all know permeates our military."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.