Editor’s Note: This video was quickly pulled offline after we posted it on Monday. Summit Entertainment now informs us that the video is back online, officially, on Hulu. So if you missed it on Monday, check out the first 8 minutes of The Hurt Locker embedded after the jump.
The first eight minutes of Kathryn Bigelow‘s amazing war film The Hurt Locker are available to watch online, and while the ideal way to see this opening sequence is obviously attached to the full feature, there may be no better way to demonstrate just how taut and involving this movie really is. Watch the sequence after the jump.
The sequence introduces us to almost everything that is key to the film: the Iraq setting, the daily actions of the Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) squad, Sergeant JT Sanborn (Anthony Mackie) and Specialist Owen Eldridge (Brian Geraghty) and, most importantly, Kathryn Bigelow’s intense yet naturalistic composition and editing. The beauty of The Hurt Locker is that Bigelow never gets in the way of the tension that is inherent to the work of the EOD. Without embellishment, she shows how they contend not only with hidden bombs, but an environment filled with latent hostility. Onlookers may be potential casualties, but may also be responsible for the creation and detonation of the bomb, as you’ll see here.
You’ll also get a good idea of how Barry Ackroyd‘s excellent cinematography makes the movie so impressive. Ackroyd shot United 93 and the upcoming Green Zone for Paul Greengrass, and has worked extensively on the naturalistic films of Ken Loach. While Jeremy Renner (not seen in this sequence) is the obvious front man for the movie, giving a performance that is impossible to look away from, Ackroyd is the unsung hero, because his camera never flinches, and only rarely exaggerates.
This clip cuts off before the full end of the opening sequence, which is probably for the best. That means you’ll have to go to the theater to see what happens to Guy Pearce. That’s possible right now depending upon where you live. The Hurt Locker is playing in limited engagements in New York and Los Angeles, and will be expanding to other markets this month. I can’t recommend any other current release more than this one.
Edit from Russ: In the days since I originally posted this, Apple has added a clip taken from one of the movie’s most tense scenes, where Jeremy’s Renner’s character has to defuse a massive car bomb while his support team grows ever more paranoid and uncomfortable. Better yet, the clip is available to watch with commentary from Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal. Check it out in HD at Apple.