Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hurt Locker real? Not Really

The Hurt Locker has won the Oscar for Best Picture, depicting bomb diffusing and explosive experts in Iraq.

The Hurt Locker is set in 2004 Iraq. In the film, the explosive team is under pressure to clear the bombs.

The title character is Staff Sergeant William James. James acts like both a bomb expert and an egomaniac.

But is it real? How close to the real thing is it? Do these soldiers really act like that?

In a word, no. Many soldiers who are part of these teams say they are no arrogant, nor are they flippant about their jobs. They take it seriously.

The kind of person that Sgt. James is depicted as is not the kind of person these bomb teams look for. Some even say his character is really a caricature, very exaggerated. Let's even call his actions inappropriate. The movie is even sexed up quite a bit.

But does that mean it's a bad movie? That is is so unlife-like that it ruins the story of these soldiers? Hollywood always seems to embellish real life to titillate the viewers.

Just look out for the embellishments. Soldiers would not be doing things like looking for bombmakers in dark alleys alone. You would not keep bomb parts as trophies. Those bomb parts are used to track down bomb makers. Not hide under your bed.

The "Hurt Locker" in the film probably refers to the bomb suit. But those suits are hardly ever used now and never as a first resort. Most bomb diffusing techniques are done from a safe distance.

One thing's for sure. If you are part of these teams you do indeed have adrenaline rushes and love to get the job done.

And that part of the movie that makes these soldiers look like heroes, going into places and doing things normal people wouldn't, does warrant some applause.

We always like to give publicity and kudos to soldiers in the field. This movie does bring them some recognition.

On a side not. The war in Iraq is not nearly what it was in 2004. It is on the strength of our military that these type of occurrences, while not completely wiped out, are rare today.

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Not really.

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