Starring: Jeremy Renner (and TMG does mean “starring.”)
TMG Scale 7.5

In the dictionary you will find this film listed under “gripping.” I felt like I was there and tasted the grit of the desert sand.  The realism and apparent attention to detail (TMG never served in the military but has immense admiration for those who have and do) was impressive.  I have not felt so vulnerable to being shot or blown up since I watched Saving Private Ryan with two World War II vets at my side.

TMG’s only struggle in watching this film is wondering if we have some guys currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan who really are subjected to the sort of outlandish risk this film portrays. TMG just shakes his head and wonders why. TMG would really like to hear form some Mideast vets to fill us all in.  Jeremy Renner portrays a dedicated bomb disposal expert whose incredible confidence is sometimes hard to distinguish from mild insanity.  Imagine Mel Gibson as Officer Riggs in Lethal Weapon but put him in Iraq and inject a Steve McQueen sort of brooding into him.  Only a 7.5 because the film lacked the sort of long-term impact films like Saving Private Ryan or Platoon or Full Metal Jacket have for the generations.  This film is more of a short snapshot of a few young men doing what they were trained to do and make the best of it.  TMG’s younger sister thought this was a very impressive film but lots of moms will find it too difficult to watch and would never let their sons enroll in ROTC after watching it.  Such is perhaps the case of any film depicting the terror and insanity of many war environs.  Not a dull moment. Well made and well acted.  TMG said a prayer for every service man and woman in the Mideast after watching.  You don’t have to see this film to do the same.