Alan Smithee

From The Redbox – Zero Dark Thirty

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

When a movie comes from every major movie award season so critically praised, I immediately get my guard up…because I’ve realized something in the last couple of years. I really have a unique taste in cinema.


That’s not to say that a movie that wins awards and is successful is an immediate dislike due to my hipster ways (/sarcasm), but more of a be wary of the war movie that disguises itself as a work of art. Ok, I realize I’m probably not making much sense yet, but let me explain.

When you think of Saving Private Ryan, do your thoughts go toward the sacrifices that were made during WWII or does it go toward the combat scenes and the one in particular where the sticky bomb goes horribly wrong? That’s what I thought. This is the exact reason that movies featuring war are generally very hard for me to review because of that feeling specifically.

I’m glad that Zero Dark Thirty kept the military porn to a minimum. Instead the audience is given a brief overview of the United States continued battle with terrorists in the Al Qaeda network. Just about every keystone of the fight was touched on including the CIA black sites that housed prisoners who were subsequently waterboarded and tortured for information, the various attacks on civilian targets by terrorists (including the 7/7 bombing in England). It was a great recap on how long this whole fucking fight against terrorism.

The movie was expertly crafted by Kathryn Bigelow and shows that her win for The Hurt Locker was taken very serious as she introduces yet another tortured soul or two searching for their meaning of existence in the aftermath of 9/11. Read that last sentence as CIA operatives who do questionable stuff to protect our country from further attacks. While we don’t have near the same amount of tension from CIA operatives as we had with IED defusers, there are more than enough close-calls to keep you on the edge of your seat.

The film weighs in at the top end of 2.5 hours (157 to be exact) and there aren’t any lulls to experience unless you’re not fascinated with intelligence and espionage…then I can’t really suggest this film, you’ll be bored with certain scenes. The standout star for me wasn’t our lovely redhead Maya or even her tortured torturer boss, but Chris Pratt playing one of the members of Seal Team Six who infiltrated the compound. I’m sorry, but as much as I enjoy him as an actor, I know him too well from Parks and Recreation to see him as anyone else, which I hope goes away before the new Marvel film he’s cast in…anyways, all in all, I really enjoyed this movie, my wife not so much as she fell asleep 30 minutes into the showing.

I do have to joke that the latest trend of movies we already know the ending to needs to stop, we know that Bin Laden met his maker at the end of this film, and we all know that Honest Abe got shot at the end of Lincoln. Hollywood, surprise us next time around would you?

Review In Haiku:

The longest film made
Where you know the ending scene
Before you begin

Leave us a Comment