I’m real excited about this one, for a couple of reasons. First: Kathryn Bigelow has demonstrated more than once that a chick can make a kickass action movie (Blue Steel, Strange Days, Near Dark) that is also smart and complicated and provocative and offers a new perspective on something we thought we’d heard everything about.
Second: Jeremy Renner is awesome, and has been standing on the doorstep of stardom for forever (S.W.A.T., North Country, 28 Weeks Later). What’s more, he actually deserves it: he’s one of those actors who’s totally ingratiating onscreen but never in that supernatural-celebrity way. He’s like Bill Paxton, supremely good at appearing extremely ordinary, while under that lurks a paradoxical power to expose ordinariness as something special.
Third: Anthony Mackie, who was pretty much the only thing worth watching in the otherwise embarrassing Notorious. He made Tupac Shakur live in a few captivating minutes in a way that the rest of the film couldn’t manage for its ostensible protagonist. He deserves stardom, too.
Fourth: the rest of the cast, which includes Ralph Fiennes, Evangeline Lilly (we get to see if she’s got anything in her besides Lost’s Kate!), Guy Pearce, and David Morse.
Could this finally be the film about Iraq that connects with audiences?
The Hurt Locker opens in the U.S. on June 26; no U.K. release date has been announced yet.