Skip to content
Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1759-7137
  • E-ISSN: 1759-7145



Though based upon his non-fiction article ‘The Man in the Bomb Suit’, published in Playboy in 2005, the dramatic structure of Mark Boal’s script for The Hurt Locker (2008) is eccentric, only revealing its true subject, the motivation of its central character for being a bomb technician, just before its ending. In comparison with the clarity of motivations in Paul Haggis’ script for In the Valley of Elah (2007), adapted by him from an earlier non-fiction essay by Boal that also takes place during the Iraq war, the script for The Hurt Locker deviates decidedly from the format of classical Hollywood narrative; because he lacks a clearly defined goal, the psychology and motivations of the central character remain obscure. Indeed a comparison of the final script with an earlier version readily illustrates how rigorously insights into the character’s motivations, and his self-awareness, were reduced. As a result, The Hurt Locker in its final version asks considerably more imaginative and intellectual engagement from its viewers than most commercial cinema.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error