United 93 and Bourne Supremacy/Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass takes us on a more political adventure and explores the aftermath of the Iraq invasion that is based on the of Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s novel Imperial Life in the Emerald City. Greengrass and screenwriter Brian Helgeland use Chandrasekaran’s story as the basis for the story of an officer who joins forces with a senior CIA officer to unearth evidence that weapons of mass destruction are not actually located in Iraq.
Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller (Matt Damon) leads a team charged in locating WMD’s using supplied Intel in Iraq, but as they visit from one resistance filled location or booby trapped site to the next finding nothing they soon stumble across evidence of an elaborate cover up due to bogus information received from an unknown source that is vouched for by a member of the Pentagon Special Intelligence called Clarke Poundstone (Greg Kinnear), Miller however finds a sympathiser in Martin Brown (Brendan Gleeson) a CIA officer who encourages Miller to dig deeper.
Miller searches for answers that are made ever more elusive by faulty intelligence and a separate special forces unit lead by Major Briggs (Jason Isaacs) who’s brought in to prevent Miller from finding the truth which adds gravitas to the situation as now Miller is up against his own country as well as the surrounding war.
Miller befriends an Iraqi who becomes his translator and leads Miller and his men to the “Jack of Clubs” of Sadam’s men who escapes and is then uncovered that he is pivotal to the outcome of the war as the truth he holds becomes the most valuable weapon of all, are there Weapons of Mass Destruction?
Green Zone looks absolutely stunning from start to finish and Matt Damon is again as watchable as ever as he seeks the truth. The locations look authentic and with some excellent added CGI to show landmarks of Iraq you get a real sense of ‘filmed on location’ for the entire movie. Brendan Gleeson and Greg Kinnear play their roles nicely and Jason Isaacs adds a wonderful menacing presence and obstacle to Miller’s hunt.
Amy Ryan co-stars as a New York Times foreign correspondent who travels to Iraq investigating the US government’s allegations about weapons of mass destruction being the reason for invading but is really underused but equally only really needed to add a friendly media ear to Miller’s discoveries to let the action and story progress.
The action was enjoyable when it came with some tense and very exciting moments that Greengrass is famed for and the plot, although slightly confusing at times, was superb and thought provoking as the WMD’s issue is deep in a lot of peoples thoughts and is extremely well presented to us although in a very political attack at the war which I and many others will agree with
I think the only real issue I had was SHAKY-CAM overdose that made it hard to watch during faster paced scenes but added that tint of a documentary feel to the movie. The opening scene is splendid example of the realistic feel to the film with fleeing high ranking Iraqi officials going into hiding in all directions and the camera pulls up to show the shock and awe bombing that took place to start the war and it really sets the scene nicely.
I have to say the more I’ve thought about the film the more I really enjoyed it, The Bourne tag is never going to be shaken which is a shame as it’s a very interesting film on its own and well worth a watch.
Green Zone is out this Wednesday, 10th March.