Zero Dark Thirty

Review: Zero Dark Thirty

31 Jan 13

Zero Dark Hurt Locker

Kathryn Bigelow follows up her OSCAR-winning 'The Hurt Locker' with a big-screen recounting of the supposedly "true" story of the hunt for Bin Laden.

Playing like a big-screen version of TV's 'Homeland,' we follow Jessica Chastain's CIA officer as she hunts her prey. Whilst we may never know the whole truth of the hunt for Bin Laden it does seem extremely unlikely that it was largely down to the efforts of one person and that's where the film, for me at least, left the realms of reality and became little more than an exercise in creating a well-handled thriller. Better, for me at least, if the names were changed and this didn't purport to be based (however fast and loosely) on a 'true' story.

That quibble aside, if you enjoyed 'The Hurt Locker,' then Bigelow delivers another fine thriller in docu-drama style, with a superb cast (including Joel Edgerton, Mark Strong and Jennifer Ehle), in a tightly edited, shot and scored movie.

The first two thirds lay off the moralising and jingoism, questioning the means that lead to the end, but stopping short of outright condemnation of torture and the death of civilians as 'collateral' damage. However, the final third of the film, in which (spoiler-alert?) the US troops swoop in to kill their prey, falls straight into every gung-ho trap it had so neatly tip-toed around in the first two-thirds.

It's exciting, edge-of-the-seat stuff that's thrillingly entertaining - if morally questionable. Nonetheless, like 'The Hurt Locker,' Bigelow delivers another top-notch action thriller... fantasy (?) ;)