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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Darkmatters Review: Green Zone

Green Zone (15)

Dir. Paul Greengrass

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

The team behind the Jason Bourne films - British director Paul Greengrass and action front man Matt Damon – reunite to bring the frenetic, run-and-gun breathlessness of their winning ‘one man against the odds’ energy to the Green Zone.

Welcome to Iraq c2003 where the US military is engaged in the desperate hunt for Saddam’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs). Chief Warrant Officer Miller (Damon) is leading a team of special forces, securing and searching sites that a secret intelligence source has identified as being where the WMDs are hidden. But each time an objective is searched the team come up empty handed – is the intel actually wrong? Is there actually a massive conspiracy behind the whole Iraq invasion? Is this fictional tale just a little bit too plausible and near the truth of the situation?

Chief Miller is a one man military force of nature, a lone wolf who as fearless in his mission to uncover the truth as he is brave when facing down snipers and the bodyguards of Iraqi ‘high value targets’. As he gets ever closer to tracking down the reasons for the lack of WMDs Miller starts to go ‘off reservation’ and has shady operatives assigned to stop him before he exposes that the whole war could be based on a lie.

Green Zone pushes the simple ‘who is lying’ plotline but sucks you in by ramping up the tension and bringing the ‘Bourne’ style kinetic action to the Iraqi badlands. From the powerful ‘shock and awe’ opening scenes of the war’s first night, through the many heart pounding action set pieces and tense chases, Green Zone matches the excellent ‘The Hurt Locker’ blow for blow in terms of big screen pay off. There is a tangible sense of danger dripping from the screen at all times and Damon delivers an effective main performance which anchors the film and drags the viewer along in his wake.

I can’t see this going down very well in the U.S. but I found it refreshing to see a war movie fiction that takes what so many have been thinking (that there never were any WMDs in Iraq) and uses it to frame an exciting and effective thriller.

The editing in Green Zone is particularly strong and praise must go to Luton’s finest Steven Worsley who worked as one of the Assistant Editors on the film.

If you’re in the mood for an exciting and visually striking war thriller, report for duty in the Green Zone.

Chief Miller gets transferred to Afghanistan and proceeds to blow the lid off the reason why we still haven't found Bin Laden...

Darkmatters rating: öööööööö (8 gut pounding, bullet ridden chases out of 10)

Darkmatters quick reference guide: Action 8 / Style 7 / Babes 4 / Comedy 5 / Horror 6 / Spiritual Enlightenment 4

"Matt Damon - like a real life Modern Warfare 2 character"

1 comment:

Ryan McNeil said...

Great post on a pretty nifty film. I too quite enjoyed the movie, and found it to be entertaining on the whole, and poignant on the reasons for the war being blurred.

The only spot I might disagree with you on is where you mention it equalling THE HURT LOCKER. LOCKER was a better film on the whole, with a lot more to say in a much more subtle manner - GREEN ZONE felt to me like a straight-up action film.

Great review - keep up the good work.