Green Zone

8 Apr

Title: Green Zone
Year: 2010
Director: Paul Greengrass
Writer: Brian Helgeland, inspired by the non-fiction novel by Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Starring: Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Brendan Gleeson, Amy Ryan, Khalid Abdalla, Jason Isaacs, Yigal Naor
MPAA Rating: R, violence and language
Runtime: 115 min
Major Awards:
IMDb Rating: 7.2
Rotten Tomatoes: 54%

Green Zone should have been great, it had Matt Damon reuniting with director Paul Greengrass, the same duo that gave us the final two installments in the Bourne trilogy, a trilogy that is as spectacular as any trilogy released in the last decade, and that’s including the one about a Ring, and a trilogy that got better with every film. The problem is that Green Zone really wasn’t that great at all, Damon is solid, Greengrass shows off talents we all know he has by now, the editing is just as quick as in the Bourne flicks, though far less effective, but the whole things is bored down by dull characters and an equally uninspired script.

Not to say Green Zone is bad, it’s not, not at all, I just thought it would be really great, and that it just isn’t. Yes it can be commended because its really edgy, but Greengrass can be commended enough for that for his masterful United 93, this one’s edgy because it portrays the Americans in the Iraq war not as the heroes, but rather as the exact opposite, as an administration that made up a war for business and an organization that will do everything to keep their secrets hidden.

Green Zone is based on a non-fiction book, yes, but it just says it’s inspired by it, in no moment does it pretend to be based on fact, so don’t go all pissy at it you patriots, if you feel this one hit close home is because the situations and the characters feel real, and because Matt Damon can kick some serious ass.

Greengrass is a political guy, we should know that by now, and I won’t delve that much into the politics of the film, they’re fantastically well presented but I would deviate from the subject at hand way too much and end up changing the purpose of this blog entirely were I to address them, the point is that it uses all these political statements to move the story of Warrant Officer Roy Miller along. He conducts the raids to find WMD’s, raids that come to no results, he begins to question it all, he begins the question the CIA, he begins to question the information the U.S. claims to have, a huge con planned by a huge government.

The plot is tough, but if there’s one good thing that can be said about the screenplay, which in general I found myself disliking, is that it presents those complex situations with relative ease even if you have no idea what it’s going on about. Then it’s time for the action, and like in the Bourne films the action scenes are well done, and are shot in Greengrass style of really queasy camera holding with super quick cuts in the editing room, the effect it had on the last two Bourne films is priceless and made them the genius films they are, the effect it has here I didn’t enjoy as much.

As a political statement Green Zone is unbelievable, it’s about time someone did what Greengrass just did, and no doubt will some people hate the film just because of its political message which seems to defy what a government fed its people for so long, but as a film I didn’t like it, it was a really okay war thriller, but it could have, and quite frankly should have been, a much better ride.

Grade: B


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