beginning to end, Paul Greengrass’ Green Zone is not just another Bourne
movie. While Matt Damon features as the fighting hero, who questions the
very bureaucracy he works for, the greater level of grit and political
narrative behind this thriller combines both Greengrass’ keen eye for
action and a 2003 Baghdad narrative that provokes thought whilst
simultaneously being entertaining.
Chief commander of an American WMD search unit, Roy Miller (Damon), is
sick of ordering his men into WMD sites in Baghdad that don’t actually
contain any of the big bad weapons American intelligence continues to
inform him of. As Miller begins to piece together information regarding
a source with the alias ‘Magellan’, who is supposedly providing these
misleading locations, his mission soon turns from a search for weapons
to a search for the truth – why is America really fighting this war?
Pushed by a strong story and fast-paced action, Green Zone is shot with
the handheld camera edginess that makes the experience intensely
realistic and as exciting as Greengrass’ previous Bourne films. With a
clear delineation of events that lead Miller from one clue to the next,
Green Zone navigates interesting perspectives with clarity and a sense
of simplicity that doesn’t take away from the depth and gravity of the
argument that WMDs were a fabrication of the Bush administration.
Punctuate this with big explosions and snappy gunfire, both visually and
sonically suited to the advantages of Blu-Ray viewing, and you’ve got
yourself a worthwhile American-war movie experience unlike any other.
The efforts and dynamic work of the cast and crew are also given a
considerable amount of detail in the special features that come with the
Blu-Ray disc. With extensive interviews from director Paul Greengrass
and other actors (many of whom were real off-duty Iraq soldiers),
especially focusing on Matt Damon’s role in the film, not only provide
exclusive insight into the production processes that were undertaken in
recreating Baghdad with a strong sense of realism, but also demonstrate
the camaraderie that emerged on set.
While the film feels a lot more Hollywood in comparison to films such as
United 93 and The Hurt Locker, which are in the same vein of
action-cross-political-narrative style genre, Green Zone shouldn’t be
looked at as a documentary or a movie that tries to push a political
agenda. Rather, it is a thriller that does more than just simply
entertain with big bombs and over-the-top action – not only in terms of
story but also in its direction and execution.