Green Zone (2010)

Ok, hang on for this... The Pentagon has a lied about WMDs and a lone soldier and an irish/american accented CIA operative (Brendan Gleeson) take on the entire US Military Machine to find out how and why - with the help of Damon's trusty arab sidekick (Khalid Abdalla - United 93) that follows him everywhere in a Toyota Corolla.

Somewhere in hollywood there's probably a shareholder for the Green Zone movie, pointing at The Hurt Locker and saying "We should make it like that!" But alas, this person will not be heard in the hollywood machine. Green Zone is good. Unfortunately it's only good. It could have been great - especially if some had not hired the hyperactive camera operator from Cloverfield to hold the camera. A basic tenet of filmmaking for the big should be 'don't wave the camera around so much that it makes people vomit in the cinema'. Hey - it works great on 24 - but that's small screen. Damon is up against Greg Kinnear, who seems to have translated his part as "Evil Captain Amazing" from Mystery Men. It's not much of a match and the end is as predictable as "and then we'll have a chase with guns and helicopters and a big finish" - did I mention it was produced by Tim "Smoking Aces" Bevan?

Apart from that, Matt Damon is on form, as is his cast, despite a spoon fed story and politically / racially questionable story mechanics. Let me just validate that - Damon meets a voluntary informant called... called... Freddy. Apologies, I can't remember his real name as he only mentions it once in the film then tells Damon to call him Freddy. This is presumably to help the audience relate to Freddy as being a 'good guy' with a western name and not a 'bad guy' because they all have difficult arabic names. Yes, as you may have guessed from that last criticism, this film a one-sided glorification of a made-up internal resistance against the US Administration about finding WMD's. We are expected to believe that the CIA were also hoodwinked into believing the WMD story - as if they didn't know there weren't any - and then... no. I'll stop there. The story is stupid, to put it mildly, and full of gaping holes. But despite story issues, director Paul Greengrass has done a fabulous job, visually.

Once we look over the completely pants story and two-dimensional writing, we find an audio visual treat that barrels along at a great pace. The action is fantastic and war film and gaming fans will recognise and love legitimate military manoeuvres and operations.

This film has a target audience. It serves that audience well. You may be that audience. If you are then.. I.. will.. type.. slowly.. for.. you.. Sorry, couldn't resist. Ok, bottom line:

Green Zone is good. Worth watching in the cinema. Buy popcorn and enjoy. Don't think any further, it will hurt.



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