Friday, January 11, 2013

Movie Review: Zero Dark Thirty

This wasn't your average post-9/11 war film.

We've seen so many of those that they tend to blend together in a boring mesh of dust, sand, American flags and desert cameo gear.  I was equally certain that Zero Dark Thirty was going to be another one to add to the fold based on that fact that Kathryn Bigelow directed this hunt for Osama Bin Laden. You will remember Kathryn from the director's chair of The Hurt Locker, the embodiment of pretty much everything that annoys me about this era of war films.

Obviously it was not 100% or even 50% 'war' related. The story is based around Maya (Jessica Chastain), a CIA officer who was on a team of agents in Pakistan put there to find terrorists related to 9/11. It follows her years of research, failed leads and persistence all the way up until the death of the man America held responsible for a date that the world will never forget. Even though you know the story, I dare you to tell me you were not captivated for the full 2.5 hours.

Jessica Chastain completely warrented the Oscar nomination she was given this morning for her role. From her arrival to Pakistan witnessing prisoner torture in silent horror to growing into a confident hard ass - it was all gold. I believed the transformation.

I also appreciated Kyle Chandler in his role as a Station Chief in Pakistan. It was so similar to the role he played in Argo,  I almost forgot what movie I was watching.  I am not going to lie to you and say that I wasn't thinking about Friday Night Lights for 20 minutes of the movie...because I was. I will never be able to separate Chandler from Coach Taylor. Ever.

I did not appreciate the way they framed the use of torture in the it was a highly vindicated activity that they unfortunately had to stop one the 'political winds' started to change. Then, once it was deemed unacceptable, the CIA didn't how they were going to get information from people - but all done in a way that you would think - yeah, this shit would be so much easier if 'Bama just let them water board people. You even feel like the guy who did all the torturing, Dan, was the nice compassionate one of the group. Now that is messed up.

The end of the movie is somber and real as one would think a 10 year search and kill mission would end, but no doubt Americans will leave the theatre feeling mighty patriotic. America wins again with the help of Hollywood, as usual.

Verdict: 3.9 Stars


Side Note: WHY WAS SHE RECRUITED OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL TO BE IN THE CIA? I am annoyed that this was brought up and not answered. So rude.

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