Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Green Zone..Thought you were seeing Bourne by proxy? No, and that's ok

"Green Zone opens on the "shock and awe" bombing of Baghdad in March 2003, and I bet it will instantly take you back to that date. I was sitting in the break room at work thinking, "Oh my god, it's actually happening". The movie's main characters may be thinking the same thing because we find them in the midst of chaos and disorder. Chief Warrant Office Roy Miller (Matt Damon) is trying to get his men to a site where they have intelligence that there are WMDs or at least proof an active WMD program. The problem is they are having to fight literal and figurative enemies ( think traffic in a war zone) to get there. As usual there is the tiresome criticism director Paul Greengrass' love of the shaky camera but here I have to say it works well( I've always liked it. People who act as if they have to take dramamine to sit through a Bourne movie are whiny in my opinion). I cannot think of any other way to really capture the frantic, crazy feeling of being in a war zone. "Green Zone" hammers the point home pretty quickly that Miller is not a happy camper. Every time they fight their way to one of these WMD sites, they come back empty handed. Sometimes finding no evidence of activity for years. Miller eventually takes matters in to his own hands, going rogue to find one of Iraq's most wanted and answer the WMD question for himself.
Once on the move, I thoroughly enjoyed the action. We are treated to a rollicking ride through Baghdad while Miller deals with insurgents and shady government types from both sides. The only thing that might hinder "Green Zone" is also it's best asset - the overtly political plot. While the Bourne movies only skimmed the surface of post 9/11 politics, "Green Zone" dives in the deep end. In the first 30 minutes we are treated to character dialogue that pretty mirrors the whole, "why are we in Iraq" debate that is still ongoing. The central issue is the lack of WMDs and direct evidence of an imminent threat. The problem? We still don't have answers on this yet. The politics are still too raw. Take a look at the discussion boards on IMDB. People are ripping each other apart arguing over "Green Zone". See "Green Zone" if you are so inclined. I'm happy that I did, but you might have to leave politics in the lobby.