During the Iraq war Sergeant William James has been assigned to the bomb squad and doesn’t really get along with his squad due to the way he handles his work!
This film won the Best Picture Oscar in 2010 and this is the second time I have watched the film (failed to review it first time round) and I have to admit that it really is such an engaging and tense film. Everything is built up in a pretty impressive way that you do not want to take your eyes away from the screen.
The character development is very good as well, we actually care about the squad and each of the characters has something that you like about them. Even James who pretty much shakes things up by the way he does everything. Sanborn and Eldridge aren’t sure if the way he throws them into more danger is the right way to go about everything.
We get to know James more as the film goes on with flashbacks showing his life back at home and it certainly appears that he can no longer function in that totally different world. He loves the thrill of what he does with bombs and it seems to give him an adrenaline rush. No matter how dangerous and high risk the situation is, we see plenty of scenes that put us on edge and cannot believe what we are watching unfold.
I thought the relationship between James and Sanborn was a very good one as they go from not getting on. Sanborn pretty much hating James to then being closer with respect for what they both do. James does not appear to care about his life, comes across very rash yet in control of the situation. I mean come on he even kept a box of things that almost killed him, which seemed to act as more motivation.
We can see how James changed during his time in Iraq with the way he responds to a young boy who is around the base. First playing football (soccer) with him and then later not even wanting to talk to him, I thought that was a very poignant moment in the film. As we think nothing bothers him it really does show that eventually this war and moments had worn him down.
The film certainly paints a very vivid picture of what the war in Iraq was like for those on the front line having to drive through the streets and try to stop any acts of people dying. But at times also causing more of a backlash from some people. I think the first time I watched the film I wasn’t overly impressed but on a second viewing I can now say that this is a very solid film that has a hell of a lot going for it.
Jeremy Renner was outstanding in the leading role but I think Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty deserve a lot more credit for their roles in the film. They were both outstanding as well and create such a good team, to watch understand and grow with over the course of the film. I am really pleased I decided to give this film another watch as it just shows that sometimes when you watch a film at a later date you might just see something else or more in it. I feel that is the case with this one, it really is a special one!