Movie Review: Green Zone (2010)

March 28, 2010 in Movie Reviews by pacejmiller

There have been a lot of movies made about the (latest) Iraq war in recent years, but not many I know of have tried to tackle the controversial threshold issue — the existence (or non-existence) of WMDs — that started the war in the first place.

Green Zone, featuring director Paul Greengrass and actor Matt Damon (they previously collaborated on The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum) is a very clever movie that blends the Iraq WMD conspiracy/debacle with a cracking plot and high octane action.

It tells the story of US Army Chief Roy Miller (Damon), who stumbles across a possible conspiracy involving WMDs in Iraq, and those who will do anything to stop the truth from being revealed.

The script is supposedly “inspired” by the non-fiction book, Imperial Life in the Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekaran, which I haven’t read (and don’t intend do), but I understand it does not take any sides.  The film, on the other hand, makes it pretty clear what it thinks of the war.

However, it would be wrong to focus on the political message in Green Zone.  I liked how fact and fiction intertwined in this movie, but it’s the suspenseful action that made it a highly enjoyable experience.

I didn’t mind the cliched, archetypal characters or the unlikely “local” helper thrown into the mix to add a more emotional element to the film.  After all, it is an action movie.  But what did irritate me was Greengrass’s overuse of the vomit cam.  I know what’s his style — I’ve seen his Bourne movies — but it was overkill for me.  Used in moderation, it can add voyeuristic realism and tension.  However, there was no need to have the camera hover around like a faulty UFO on just about every scene, even when all that’s on screen is two people standing around having a chat, or a close up of a person’s face.

On the whole, Green Zone is 115 minutes of solid, interesting entertainment that is mostly made up, but it still makes you wonder how much of it, if any, is true.

4 out of 5 stars!