Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Movie Review Green Zone

On March 20th, 2003 the United States of America went to war with Iraq, and a short time later the military began their search for weapons of mass destruction. Try as they might however, said weapons were never found and every site they inspected showed no signs of anything. I start my review of the movie Green Zone with these facts because they form the basis for the story. These are the only real facts in the story, and whatever plot twists and information we are given are purely fictional.

Throughout the movie we follow the story of army chief warrant officer Roy Miller, who is portrayed by three time Oscar nominee Matt Damon (Saving Private Ryan, Invictus). Roy is growing more and more suspicious of the intelligence given to the military on the locations of the weapons of mass destruction, and his suspicions grow deeper when he’s approached by a CIA agent (Brendon Gleason of 28 Days Later and Braveheart) who tells him that everything isn’t what it seems. As Roy starts hunting for the truth he’s paid a visit by a Pentagon Special Intelligence Agent (Greg Kinnear of Ghost Town, and As Good As It Gets) and finds himself caught in the middle between the CIA and the Pentagon. It’s not the best place to be, but it’s where Roy needs to be if he wants to find the truth.

I liked this movie. It had a decent pace, kept you intrigued from start to finish, and the action was heart pounding. I typically like Matt Damon’s acting, and this movie didn’t disappoint in that area either. I find he has a natural ability to hold your attention and help you suspend your disbelief. I’ve never been a huge fan of the extended use of hand held cameras that director Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Ultimatum, United 93) makes his movies with as I find it hard to follow the action at times due to the excessive shaking, but it wasn’t as annoying this time around. It actually added to the realness of the situation in Iraq. There were two things about Green Zone that I really enjoyed however. The first was the conflict between the CIA and the Pentagon. You’ve seen this sort of thing in movies before, but in this case it took the focus off the Iraq war, and put it on an internal conflict from the invading country. The second thing I really liked was the portrayal of the people of Iraq during the war. Now I don’t claim to know what it was like to be living there during that time, or what it even feels like now, but I’m betting this movie gives you a pretty realistic impression of what it would be like to be living in a country that is being invaded. You get a sense that you wouldn’t know who you could trust, or who would help you. If you do decide to go see Green Zone this weekend, please remember one thing. The basic situation may be real, but the rest of the story is pure fiction.

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