I added this title to my rental list out of curiosity, I was not expecting to be entertained or have the feel good style of reaction to the movie. So not knowing what to expect and only a sentence or two of understanding I slipped the disc into the player.
The given blurb of this film is “An intense portrayal of elite soldiers who have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world: disarming bombs in the heat of combat. When a new sergeant, James, takes over a highly trained bomb disposal team amidst violent conflict, he surprises his two subordinates, Sanborn and Eldridge, by recklessly plunging them into a deadly game of urban combat. James behaves as if he’s indifferent to death. As the men struggle to control their wild new leader, the city explodes into chaos, and James’ true character reveals itself in a way that will change each man forever.”
By the end of the movie I realised how different the rules of war have changed. Long gone are the days when ‘the enemy’ were the fellows on the opposing end of the field in their distinctive uniforms, where gentlemanly unwritten rules applied and were adhered to. But more modern day conflicts are so very different.
There is no instant means of identifying a person as an innocent civilian or someone willing to do you harm. Devices are planted in the hopes that military personnel are killed or mamed but with utter disregard for anyone else who just happens to be around. When approaching a very scared individual who is speaking their native tongue you are clueless to understand them, know if they understand you, decipher whether they are about to detonate a device or just an everyday person trying to go about their ordinary life amidst the chaos. There is no time to hesitate, there is no time to second guess, a split second is too long, all there is time for is to react.
No wonder the pure tension is so immence, no wonder so many serving personnel are utterly exhausted, no wonder what hind sight shows to be possibly a mistake or over reaction happen over and over again. There is no politicing solution to such conflicts, there are no diplomatic settlements to such wars.
There is one scene where a high ranking officer, a predominently in-camp desk type person decides to jump into the jeep and ride along with the crew called to try and defuse a device. He attempts to explain to a group of poor language confused local men with their pony and cart attempting to shift rocks and bricks, that the area is not safe, that there are explosive devices and they should go. He is doing all the things you are told to in order to be taken as friendly, non-threatening, understanding, calming etc. The men start to leave, you see them walk down the road, you see the Officer turns to go back to the vehicle past the pile of tumbled debris the men were so interested in and you hear the explosion ….. there is nothing left of him to send home.
If this film truly represents aspects of the conflicts currently raging, then I truly fear for the outcome. If your enemy can stand in front of your face,be friend you, smile at you and simultaneously not only kill you but innocent children, then until a regime can be implemented that is stronger than theirs, there will be no rest, no end to the blood baths.