General Odierno gives “The Hurt Locker” friendly review

March 10, 2010

OSCARS/As the top U.S. military commander in Iraq, General Ray Odierno must have on-the-ground knowledge of the American military teams that defuse roadside bombs in Iraq.

So it seems like high praise, indeed, that he complimented the Oscar-winning movie “The Hurt Locker” for how it portrayed the sacrifices made by bomb disposal soldiers in the Iraq war.

“I think what I like about it is, it shows, first, the camaraderie that is required here, the tension, the risk that’s involved in some of the jobs that we do here,” Odierno said in an interview with PBS Newshour.

“I’m sure many people would say it could be a bit more accurate in some areas, but I believe it’s a good representation of the sacrifice, dedication that it takes here in order to combat such a very difficult mission of terrorism and fighting a war on terrorism,” he said.

“The Hurt Locker”, an Iraq war drama about a team of bomb-defusing specialists, won the Oscar for best picture and placed Kathryn Bigelow into history books as the first woman ever to win the Academy Award for best director.

Photo credit: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson (Bigelow poses with her Oscar for “The Hurt Locker”)

4 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

When I saw The Hurt Locker I remember thinking, the military’s going to like this. It should come as no surprise that “writer” Mark Boal was embedded in Iraq and appears to have lost there any scruples he might otherwise possess.

The story goes absolutely nowhere and is complacently uncritical of those responsible for the invasion itself, ending on a “might as well go back, then” note which renders the writer’s motives and the movie itself (other than its skillful editing) contemptible, as all embedded effluent winds up being in the long run.

Posted by HBC | Report as abusive

This was never intended as a political film. It is a film about soldiers and what an insane environment they have to survive in. The most moving part of the film to me was late in the story when the main character is back in the states, standing in the seemingly endless cereal aisle of a supermarket, one week after being in the desperately impoverished war zone of Iraq. That was the whole film, right there.
If you want political commentary on war, see Farenheit 911. If you want films about what war is for the soldiers, see Hurt Locker, Saving Private Ryan, Jarhead, or Apocalypse Now. Or enlist and see for yourself.

Posted by Yellow105 | Report as abusive

And why should the movie be “critical” HBC? If you wanted a “BushBash” movie, then watch Saturday Night Live re-runs since that is what you imply you want. This is one damn good movie to remind people like you that the reason you can sit and type commentary like this and the reason it is protected and that you have the freedom sitting at a comfy little computer monitor all safe like is because people have your back that you have never met, nor understand. Yellow 105 is right.. the cereal scene… spoiled… but few know it… sit and complain next time YOU stand in front of the cereal aisle… you’re looking for the easy out… there is no easy out… there never has been… there never will be… you are breathing and alive…. and they want you to die because you exist… and you think if you just send all the “boys” home that they will just think we are such nice guys now… sit down and drink a beer with Obama and it will all be okay… you are sorely mistaken thinking it is so simple and easy….
So I’m with Yellow105…. HBC-enlist… thinking like yours would never allow people like Stauffenberg to exist because you would tell him…Naw… just let the concentration camps continue… it’s not about me….
You spit in the face of your boys and the Allies that are dying believing that in the end they will do good… much like what happened in Post War Japan…
So… good luck with that kind of thinking.
As for me… These men have my back and I salute them.

Posted by DeathB4Dishonor | Report as abusive

As I have been to Iraq twice, as an infantry marine, and come back twice, I don’t understand the issue with the “cereal scene.” I don’t know if Death thinks it “spoiled” the movie, or what, but as a combat vet, that was THE most moving and instantly understandable moment of the whole movie. For any civilian who wonders why “war is a drug” or why the protagonist wanted/needed/or had to go back (regardless of his own opinions of the Iraq war) the “cereal scene” instantly captured, the moment i saw it, what it is like to come home from war. FOR ME, it elucidated that flat-out feeling of the over abundance and POINTLESSNESS of everyday materialistic society. How our society is jam-packed with imagery and glorification of pointless party-lives, social status, idolatry, and material shit. I have never felt more alive than when i feared that at any moment i could die. War gives life meaning, not bc you are serving some higher cause, but bc you come to realize, in the most personal way, that breathing is better than not breathing. It is as simple as that, it awakens you. Unfortunately, with extreme highs come extreme lows. You understand that there is no higher purpose, divine meaning, or purpose at all, for anything. Life is pointless, however, life is meaning. Whereas the protagonist is chasing that high that war gives him, his fellow sergeant (Sanborn) just cares to survive. For some, war is an elixir and for others, it is a smelling salt. To conclude, i found the “cereal scene” to be the most insightful part of the whole movie.

Posted by Life123 | Report as abusive