The Hurt Locker, from director Kathryn Bigelow (Point Break, K19: The Widowmaker), takes on the Iraq War from a distinct, and distinctly sphincter-buckling perspective: That of the U.S. military's bomb squad. Yes, the guys who have to actually walk over to that suspicious ticking car that's been parked outside the embassy for three days.
Starring Jeremy Renner (S.W.A.T., The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) and Anthony Mackie (Half Nelson, We Are Marshall), Hurt Locker opens on June 26th. We've got a couple of exclusive clips to get you amped for it, but first check out some of the facts and figures that make this a job solely for the insane:
- Bomb shrapnel travels at 2,700 feet per second.
- Overpressure, the deadly wave of supercompressed gases that expands from the center of a blast, travels at 13,000 miles an hour-at a force equal to 700 tons per square inch. If you're in the path of this devastating wave, it can burst your lungs.
- In 2004, there were only about 150 trained Army EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) techs in Iraq.
- The job was so dangerous that EOD techs were five times more likely to die than all other soldiers in the theater. That same year, the insurgency reportedly placed a $25,000 bounty on the heads of EOD techs.
- Separations and relationship troubles are so common among EOD teams that soldiers sometimes joke that EOD stands for 'every one divorced."
- Bomb-disposal teams were first created in World War II. Starting in 1942, when Germany blitzed London with time-delayed bombs, specially trained U.S. soldiers joined British officers who diagrammed the devices using pencil sketches before they attempted to defuse them with common tools.
- Bomb techs are trained at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. The Army looks for volunteers who are confident, forthright, comfortable under extreme pressure and emotionally stable. To get into the training program, a prospective tech first needs a high score on the mechanical-aptitude portion of the armed forces exam. Once the school begins, candidates are gradually winnowed out over six months of training, and only 40 percent will graduate.
- It is an EOD tech vernacular to speak of explosions as sending you to "the hurt locker."
All warm and cozy? Good, then check out the clips, which may contain content not suitable for children, the elderly, or that guy in your office with all the cat photos on his desk:
"That's a negative"
"Where are you going?"