Get your television remote and your puke bucket ready, because The Hurt Locker is now on Netflix.
The 2008 film starring Jeremy Renner as an Army explosive ordnance disposal technician in Iraq, which wowed civilians while making military audiences collectively groan, is back on the streaming platform as of March 1.
Sure it won six Oscars, and was hailed as an amazing military flick by just about every movie critic under the sun. But that doesn't mean it isn't viewed as complete shit by the people it's supposed to depict. "[It's like] Top Gun," one Army EOD soldier told Task & Purpose, while noting it had great cinematography but plenty of technical inaccuracies. "If you know very little about the subject matter, it's a good movie."
The movie played hard and loose with what EOD actually does, as I noted in 2015. There are, of course, the minor errors like unit names, and then there are huge, glaring plot holes and/or complete idiocy from an EOD tech — like when Staff Sgt. James pulls up a bunch of red wires to reveal six bombs daisy-chained all around him, or when he decides to throw on a hoodie and just go walking around at night in Iraq with a 9mm pistol to win the war all by himself.
"Bravo Hollywood. That was pure magical bullshit," Kate Hoit, an Army veteran, wrote in 2010.
"How about the fact that the team leader is out of control? A [team leader] that 'cowboy' would be fired. His team member got shot because of him, good luck living with that," another EOD soldier told Task & Purpose, adding that they're not trained snipers; they usually, you know, roll around with security; and unfortunately, they don't have magical fire extinguishers that will put out a fire that has engulfed an entire vehicle.
But anyway, the movie is out on Netflix so go grab a beer and take a swig every time you notice something fucked up. You'll probably be passed out less than 30 minutes in.
"The Hurt Locker was not written for us. It was not produced or shot for us," Jason Dawson, a Marine Corps veteran, told War is Boring. "It was shot for people back home who have a very John Wayne, cowboy-esque view, the Wild West view, of what goes on in Iraq. These are characters that you drummed up, from behind a desk, and then you put them through scenarios that you imagined about what it's like 'over there.'"
President Donald Trump has ramped up airstrikes against al-Shabab in Somalia. (Associated Press/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
The U.S. military could be guilty of war crimes in Somalia, according to a new report that challenges what the government says about civilian casualties from its bombing campaign against al-Shabab, an al-Qaida affiliate, in the African nation.
The investigation, conducted by Amnesty International, found that US airstrikes from both drones and manned aircraft killed at least 14 civilians and injured seven more people in just five of more than 100 strikes in the past two years.
"The attacks appear to have violated international humanitarian law, and some may amount to war crimes," the Amnesty report said.
A new bill would give troops with infertility related to their military service greater access to advanced reproductive treatments, including up to three completed cycles of in vitro fertilization, or IVF, and cryopreservation of eggs and sperm for those heading to a combat zone.
U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Joseph L. Osterman, the commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force, speaks to Marines with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) during a visit aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4). Marines and Sailors with the 11th MEU are conducting routine operations as part of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group in the eastern Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Dalton S. Swanbeck)
The Marine Corps' top general on the west coast is readying his Marines for the next big war against a near peer competitor, and one of his main concerns is figuring out how to alter the mindset of troops that have been fighting insurgencies since 9/11.
"If anything my problem is getting people out of the mindset of [counterterrorism] and making sure they're thinking about near peer adversaries in their training programs," Lt. Gen. Joseph Osterman, commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton, California, told Task & Purpose in an interview on Friday.
A Ruger AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, center, the same model, though in gray rather than black, used by the shooter in a Texas church massacre two days earlier, sits on display with other rifles on a wall in a gun shop Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in Lynnwood, Wash. (Associated Press/Elaine Thompson)
A new bill introduced in the Missouri House of Representatives would require a significant number of state residents own "at least one" AR-15 semi-automatic rifle with the help of a hefty tax break — except it won't ever get off the ground.