Disgust over ‘Hurt Locker’
Kudos for the story "Hate for ‘Hurt Locker’" (March 7).
I watched [the movie], screaming in frustration and wrath at the endless horrible decisions, deplorable leadership, lack of values and foolish actions of the main character. He bucks all adherence to regulations and basic soldiering, let alone troop-leading procedures.
The film seemed contrived to plop the protagonists into every stereotype of war and blockbuster action movie. Drunken orgy of violence? Slick civilian contractors? Post-traumatic stress disorder? Sniper battle? Devil-may-care hero? Moral ambiguity? Check.
Anyone familiar with Army culture or operations should shake his head in exasperation at an Army leader recklessly endangering his subordinates, saving the day by acting opposite to common sense and wise tactics. The article’s best point was that tomorrow’s soldiers could internalize kernels of this trash, and our warrior culture, steeped in values and sound leadership, could eventually reflect what they "learned" from this movie.
I know it’s an action movie. But it angers me that Hollywood takes this social misfit anti-hero, wraps him in a uniform, glorifies his bumbling through catastrophically bad decisions, and heaps praise on the work as an ode to those who professionally and anonymously defend their country.
Some are flattered that Hollywood devoted two hours of screen time to soldiers, but I contend this film grievously misrepresents what makes our soldiers great. Truth is, it’s the less sexy traits that characterize brave men and women in uniform: discipline, honor, love of comrades, devotion to duty, maturity. OK, so the movie is beautifully filmed and edited. That’s like writing poetry to describe what lies in the gutters of Mosul and Baghdad.
Reckless cowboys do not good soldiers make. Hollywood must take the time to learn about the Army to make good war movies.
Capt. Jordon EwersForward Operating Base Diamondback, Iraq