Blowhard, Esq. writes:
Effective enough espionage procedural in the vein of Paul Greengrass’s United 93, to which it makes an appropriate bookend. It’s a grunt’s-eye view shot in the hyper-edited, faux-documentary style that continues to pass for “realism.” Dektoring is now twenty years old but shows no signs of letting up.
Jessica Chastain plays Maya, a mid-level CIA analyst who turns out to have the correct theory about where Bin Laden is located. Aside from ultimately being right, her character isn’t interesting nor is her struggle with her superiors, which plays like the stuff of a million inside-the-Beltway movies. Bigelow’s film only comes alive during the pure action scenes, for example when field officers attempt to locate one of Bin Laden’s couriers in a crowded Pakistani street or the final sequence in which the SEALs raid UBL’s compound.
I think Bigelow wants us to see Maya as a sort of Joan of Arc visionary, the only one with the tenacity to see the operaton through over a twelve-year timespan. Indeed, the final shot of the film seems to clearly reference Falconetti’s Joan, although it’s quite possible I was just bored by her that point and I’m reading way too much into it. A friend adds, “I haven’t rooted for a movie character to get laid since The 40 Year Old Virgin.”