Entertainment

No questioning the US War of Terror

Title: Zero Dark Thirty

Director: Kathryn Bigelow

Rated: M

Director Kathryn Bigelow continues her cinematic study of American militaria in Zero Dark Thirty. In her 2009 Best Picture Oscar-winning movie The Hurt Locker she was above ground in the 'war on terror', following the gritty work of a maverick soldier in a bomb disposal unit on the streets of Baghdad. In Zero Dark Thirty Bigelow moves into the underworld of the seemingly endless 'war on terror' with a dramatisation of the covert US operations that resulted in the storming of Osama bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan, and his death.

The film is written by former war journalist Mark Boal and it digs into the dark side of America's war. The main character in the bin Laden pursuit, agent Maya (Jessica Chastain), is apparently based on an actual female CIA agent, who still remains covert. The film's title is a military term relating to the darkness and secrecy of 30 minutes after midnight.

Zero Dark Thirty has created considerable controversy due to its lack of any moral stance on the CIA's use of torture and also on the timing of its release, possibly assisting Obama's re-election. It is certainly a celebration of grand American grit and the unflinching determination to 'get their man'.

The story follows the single-minded determination of agent Maya over eight years to locate bin Laden, whilst various terrorist acts explode around the world. Along the way comrades die and she must endure personal and political attacks.

Zero Dark Thirty is well constructed and as demonstrated in The Hurt Locker, Kathryn Bigelow is most adept at handling action sequences. Even though we all know where the story ends, the raid on bin Laden's suburban compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 2, 2011, the action finale is both gripping and haunting.

However, much of this long movie is an investigative procedural drama, in the vein of a very overblown police/espionage show. While Chastain is effective in her role, it's fairly one-dimensional, and apart from her early apparent distaste for waterboarding torture, her research and doggedness are largely by-the-numbers.

Zero Dark Thirty is a harrowing movie. However, no questions at all are answered about the terrible cost of the terror wars and the hunt and killing of Osama bin Laden.

Zero Dark Thirty is currently screening at Birch Carroll & Coyle Cinemas, Lismore.


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

IS IT POSSIBLE? How to live alongside flying-foxes

A vexed questionof living with flying foxes will be discussed this Friday at the NPA forum.

THE conflict between urbanites and wildlife has a new battleground

Gamblers can beat betting

BEAT IT: Recovered gambling addict Blayne Marcantelli gives an emotional address at the Responsible Gambling Awareness screening of the movie, Broke, at Ballina Cinema.

Lismore Baker raises awareness for problem gambling.

Elder’s art tells tales of past for today’s kids

INSPIRING: Uncle Digby Moran with Lismore Heights Public student Shannyah Hope at Lismore Regional Gallery.

Bundjalung Elder teaches heritage through art and stories.

Latest deals and offers

WATCH: Local artists ‘paint’ the Opera House with light

RHONDA Roberts and Karla Dickens' work will be seen by millions of visitors and Sydney-siders from tonight.

IS IT POSSIBLE? How to live alongside flying-foxes

A vexed questionof living with flying foxes will be discussed this Friday at the NPA forum.

THE conflict between urbanites and wildlife has a new battleground

Gamblers can beat betting

BEAT IT: Recovered gambling addict Blayne Marcantelli gives an emotional address at the Responsible Gambling Awareness screening of the movie, Broke, at Ballina Cinema.

Lismore Baker raises awareness for problem gambling.

Elder’s art tells tales of past for today’s kids

INSPIRING: Uncle Digby Moran with Lismore Heights Public student Shannyah Hope at Lismore Regional Gallery.

Bundjalung Elder teaches heritage through art and stories.

NSW lags but North Coast booms on renewable energy

But Northern Rivers moving ahead at "cracking pace"

VIDEO: The fastest, easiest way to peel a potato?

There is a fast way to peel potatoes.

This 30-second video shows how quickly you can peel a potato

The best retro movies of the week? May 27 - June 3

Gregory Peck Photo Contributed

This week TV fan get to see Tom Cruise in a 1980s classics

Perfect time to invest in Northern Rivers property

The Northern Rivers rental market is tighter than Sydney making it the perfect time for investors to get better returns out of property than superannuation or banks deposits.

Low interest rates and tight rental market are prime time to invest