The Hurt Locker
The media has struggled and been criticized for this question forever. Year after year films come out portraying what they believe war is actually like. Criticism that comes with these films is pretty extreme and the media gets bashed for certain scenes and some are even famous. War Veterans are the first to comment and obviously have opinions on what the film was depicting and what it left out. The media really cares about soldiers in war movies, and mainly how that soldier is affected from the “abuse” of war.
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Most of these films have a main character that is plagued by the effect war brings about and follows that character through some extreme plot. One of the more recent war films The Hurt Locker follows a main character and two other soldiers that go through daily struggles of war in Iraq. The low class, undeveloped, and perished background provides a true test for these men. The audience gets to know these few characters and the how they interact with one another and with themselves. Sergeant James is the main character and leader within this group and also the man who wears the bomb suit. The cover of the film’s
DVD has “War is a Drug” printed on the bottom, which is directly portrayed to James. The film follows him not only in war, but also some parts of his home life. He seems not to belong in the regular life and right at home when at war. War films are riddled with stereotypical issues including race and class. Starting out this movie immediately stereotypes the affect that death has in war. A leader of a bomb squad is killed in action and a character in the movie Owen is extremely distraught by the event. This is the first stereotype the movie shows. Owen is very young and looked up to his sergeant and the fact that he was killed forced
Owen to see a psychiatric doctor on a daily basis. He felt that if the correct action was taken during the attack that he could have saved his sergeant, and it will forever haunt him. The film allows the audience to relate to Owen and shows the effect of losing a fellow soldier can have on another. Sergeant James arrives the next day and immediately the film portrays him as the carefree, fearless American hero type when he is put into a bomb-threatening situation. He shows no essence of teamwork and leaves his team, Sandboxes and Owen, back at the HUM-V having no way to help. This is where the film shows the gung-ho, cowboy American soldier.
Shortly after he diffuses the bomb, then acts as if nothing was wrong and laughs the situation off. For the first time the audience gets to see the main character, and can instantly decide what kind of character he is going to be. A little later in the movie James is in his bunk getting to know Sandboxes and Owen when they find a box that James has. In it are pieces from bombs that James has diffused over the years. He remarks that it is a box of the things that have almost killed him and once again laughs at himself. The film shows this soldier to be at home with what he does in war, while showing how