I finally saw THE HURT LOCKER, and pardon the pun... it blew me away! Directed by Kathryn Bigelow's who's most well-know film is the 1991 surfer-bank-robber epic, POINT BREAK. This edgy wartime drama is set during the current Iraq War (and was filmed in the Middle East in Jordan and Kuwait .) The intensely written script by freelance journalist Mark Boal (who was once embedded with an American bomb squad in Iraq) wastes no time putting you on the edge of your theater-seat and has you soon gripping it's armrests. This is the best war film since Ridley Scott's, Blackhawk Down, the type of picture that's so realistic, it makes you want duck for cover while watching it (might I add, if this movie was in 3 D... oh momma!) The story is a simple one, a three man army unit (Jeremy Renner,Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty) ride around Baghdad in there Humvee trying to defuse bombs without getting themselves killed in the process. These explosives aren't the comic book kind that Hollywood drops in movies in lieu of story and character development. And needless to say, you won't find anyone outrunning a fireball here like John Rambo. The three leads really hit the mark; Mackie as the cautious leader, Geraghty as the green kid and Renner in a star making performance as the "wild card" bomb tech. Renner's part has the flavor of a character that Steve McQueen's boots would have filled some forty years earlier. The drama of The Hurt Locker, also is also reminiscent of a long forgotten (and hard to find) picture of director Robert Aldrich from the 50's called Ten Seconds To Hell, starring Jack Palance and Jeff Chandler. That story was about a team of men who defuse bombs in postwar Berlin. But make no mistake, under Bigelow's taunt direction her movie stands tall on its own as piece of fine filmmaking;bar none! Bravo Bigelow! Hello Oscar!