Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday Night at the Movies - Green Zone

This movie is being billed as an action-adventure film. In the ads for the movie much is made of Damon and the director Paul Greengrass' connection to the Bourn movies. In the trailers for the film, it's not too clear what Damon is doing. He appears to be on a quest of some kind.Damon plays chief warrant officer Roy Miller. It's just after the fall of Baghdad and Miller and his team are looking for WMD in and around the city. The opening scene has them arriving at a site where intelligence has reported a stockpile of biological weapons. Here's where the action-adventure part comes in. Although an Army unit has attempted to secure the site prior to Miller's unit's arrival, all is chaos. There is a sniper keeping them pinned down. Panicked Iraqi citizens are running all around. Purposeful Iraqi citizens are looting the place. Bullets are flying everywhere. When Miller and company finally get inside, the find an abandoned toilet factory. No WMD. It's the third dry hole in a row.

Miller's quest is to find out what is going on. Just where are those danged weapons of mass destruction. For his trouble he finds himself in the middle of a CIA operation and a Pentagon operation. Although both these agencies work for the same government, they seem to be working at cross-purposes. To reveal those purposes would be too big of a spoiler so I won't. Suffice it to say that you may have heard that WMD were never found in Iraqi. There have been many theories put forward as to why this is so. This movie offers a theory I never heard before but doesn't sound any crazier than those I have heard.

We thought that Matt Damon was great in this. As I said, when his unit arrives at the chaotic scene in the opening of the movie, Damon just takes charge. His men have complete confidence in him and you believe it that they do. The action scenes are very good. The director goes for a total immersion sort of feel with jerky camera movements, a point of view from right inside the action. You can almost feel the bullets whizzing past your ear. Very effective and very tense.

A word of warning. If you think that the Iraqi war was fully justified and that we did the right thing there, you will probably not like this movie no matter how close the bullets come.

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