Saturday, 13 March 2010

REVIEW: Green Zone

Green Zone might be the most openly political Iraq movie to come out of Hollywood thus far, in which the villains are the American Government, or at least yuppie scapegoat Greg Kinnear, and there is a sense of discernible anger to it. Its just not a very smart one. The movie itself is not all it could be, way too simple and reminded me a lot more of The Kingdom then the Hurt Locker, but it had something to say, and even if it wasn't said with the best elocution, there's something to be said for that.

The politics of the film are dealt with in the first half hour or so, before the movie becomes more about the chase then the reason for the chasing, and while this has got on more then one critic's wick, I didn't mind the transition, because whilst there is credit in what the movie is trying to say, the smarts of the politics don't really break past sixth form debate club standard, so I think Green Zone made the right call being an action movie with a little politics rather then a political movie with a little action, because it does one noticeably better then the other. As you'd expect from the director of the Bourne Ultimatum, the action in this film looks the shit, and the climactic scene in particular was fierce to the point where I forgot my slight sense of disappointment just for a moment. I don't think any director handles action with the same sense of sheer exhilaration as Greengrass, who can make any type of people in motion beyond awesome. As for the other aspects of the film, things hardly flow smoothly.

Khalid Abdalla's Freddie seemed shoehorned in just for the sake of their being a sympathetic Iraqi, which is a lot more patronizing then if there wasn't one at all. He's an actor I've liked in the past, in both Greengrass' masterful United 93 and The Kite Runner, but he felt unnecessary to the film to be honest. Damon, as many have said, is just Jason Bourne with a military rank, which isn't always a bad thing. I think Greg Kinnear, doing his best Carter Burke impression, gives the movie's best performance, with more then one moment of real moral apathy breaking beneath the corporate sheen, although seeing Jason Isaacs cast against his usual creepy type as a straight up badass was fairly awesome. Amy Ryan's journalist was quite extraneous as was Brendan Gleeson's CIA agent, although both were fine.

I don't think the makers of Green Zone would much appreciate me complimenting what I've complimented, but for those looking for a thought out, intelligent political movie dealing with Iraq will have to look elsewhere, yet those who enjoy their action with a smidge of political relevance will enjoy Green Zone, as did I. But it can't hold a candle to Greengrass' own United 93, or other less simplified movies dealing with Iraq, such as a certain multiple Oscar winner.

Rating: 7/10

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