I heard an idea for a Hurt Locker copy line, something that’s close to or sounds like “the world’s hardest job” — the job being a bomb defuser in Iraq. Except that’s not it. At all. Jeremy Renner‘s Sgt. James character doesn’t see defusing bombs as satisfying because of the difficulty factor — he loves it because it puts him right next to death, and every time he successfuly defuses it gives him an “adrenaline fix” (a term used by Brian Geraghty‘s character) like nothing else.

The line Summit’s marketers need to be thinking of, then, is a line spoken by Ben Kingsley‘s Don Logan character in Sexy Beast, to wit: “It’s the charge, it’s the bolt, it’s the buzz.”

That, trust me, is the essence of it all. It’s not just what Renner’s character is looking for and running on, but what the movie and the audience are running on while watching it. The Hurt Locker isn’t a tragedy about a young soldier who can’t do anything but risk his life with IEDs, boo-hoo. It’s about breaking through that assumption about Renner being tragic and coming to see that while there is obvious sadness in being cut of from the warmer currents, he’s a great warrior possessed of true nobility. And that calling is what it is.