The Hurt Locker — On-Screen Winner, But How True to Life?

The Hurt Locker
Image via Wikipedia

Not so true?

Here’s what some soldiers in-country had to say about the veracity of “The Hurt Locker”, Oscar’s Best Picture.

From The Globe and Mail:

But the film’s admirers don’t include those who actually do the job – defusing or destroying makeshift bombs. Canadian explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) soldiers in Kandahar, one of Afghanistan’s most volatile and bomb-laden provinces, say their life is no Hurt Locker.

“First reaction was, ‘This is pretty Hollywood,’ ” says EOD soldier Lieutenant Caroline Pollock. “All of us were laughing at the movie, at parts in the movie where no one else would laugh. Like, this is ridiculous.”

The Canadians, for example, think Guy Pearce’s character – killed early on while wearing the heavy bomb suit and running from an explosion – shouldn’t actually have died.

“The guy was 100 metres away and running when it exploded? I was surprised he died,” said Leading Seaman Doug Woodrow, a 13-year Forces veteran who has donned the suit himself.

In one scene, the boys get into a sniper fight alongside some mercenaries. Sniper and EOD skills are not typically offered as a joint course, nor are bomb experts expected to clear massive industrial buildings on their own, as Sgt. James and his team do.

“I was like, ‘Who the hell does this? Can I have their job?’ ” Lt. Pollock says, laughing. “It was a good movie, but I didn’t think it was that great … I don’t think it was accurate of what EOD operators do.”

Here’s a book by a British soldier about his job defusing bombs.

5 thoughts on “The Hurt Locker — On-Screen Winner, But How True to Life?

  1. ebizjoey

    Like grampa used to say, “that’s TV”. The movie G.I. Jane was, well never mind, lets just say not real. Still, an improvement to what they have done recently. Your solution to viewing the show in NYC was ingenious! 🙂

  2. Caitlin Kelly

    Thanks….All credit for that solution is totally due to my super-resourceful partner who thought to call up his sister in Ohio, knowing we could beg shamelessly for quick help which she graciously gave us. It was a hoot.

  3. libtree09

    Hey it’s a movie.

    The scenes in which they have to clear the area could have been done realistically because that would not have served the story. It is drama and the key component is conflict, the point of the scene was to show how the main character was putting his comrades in jeopardy…thus the crux of the conflict…it is a plot device. The sniper scene was to put pressure on the characters by showing how dangerous just driving down the road can be…was it real…well snipers are real and the unexpected danger our soldiers face are real…however in the real world they would have called in some air and destroyed their enemy…I doubt air was busy all day…but again tension and conflict and shock of quick death…that was the point and again it has to be centered on the characters…it’s theater, dramatic license and if the film makers are doing their job no one in the audience would notice the illogical.

  4. jake brodsky

    As a career engineer, I used to cringe when I see movies portray anything technical. These days I’ve learned to park my brain at the door and enjoy.

    Movies are not about reality. I don’t care if they pretend to be about reality or not. First and foremost, a movie is about entertainment. If you’re going there for any other reason you’re doing it wrong.

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