There are moments of absolute brilliance in this movie about a bomb disposal team set in 2004 Baghdad. In fact, the first 20 minutes or so are incredible. The first scene, in particular, blew me away - no pun intended.
The first half is much stronger than the second half. The second half isn't bad but it drifts into completely implausible situations that stem more from the lazy screenwriting than the attempt to become super cheesy at times in a Bad Boys in Iraq kind of way. By the end, I was more than ready for the movie to be over. I didn't particularly care for most of the characters and the plot had become so ridiculous that the movie had lost me.
Still, there are more than enough great moments here to recommend seeing this movie. There aren't many non documentary movies (in fact, I can't think of any) about the combat in Iraq. The blown out buildings and burned cars, the snipers, the people watching from every window, the desert, the vendors selling their wares, the suicide bombers, there is a lot of intrigue to cover in one movie. But I'm not sure that this movie covers that much different ground than earlier television shows Over There and Generation Kill did. In fact, if I hadn't watched those shows, I might have liked this movie a lot more than I did.
Not to mention, I was a bit annoyed that there was a reference to YouTube in the movie even though YouTube didn't make its debut until the next year. Not that big a deal but overall, this little detail felt indicative of the lazy script in general.
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow
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