Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Review: The Green Zone (That's It, No Pun In The Title This Time)

Paul Greengrass is back again, importing his visuals and edits from the his take on the Bourne series, and using it very, if not more effectively here in The Green Zone, starring Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Amy Ryan and Brendan Gleeson. 
While this film has unintentionally (or maybe not) pissed a hell of a lot of people off, it also accomplishes the feat of showing off something about a spot in our history, that is, unarguably, fact. We lied and made claims about WMD's (an abbreviation heard appr. 6,000 times in this film) in Iraq so we could go over there and pound the shit out them worse than some shady motel experiences I've had in the past. And after that, we fired their army, who had no real love of Saddam in the first place, and left them high dry, pissed, alienated and broke. Way to go America. And that's just the A-B of the film...

Matt Damon stars as Roy Miller, Cheif Warrant Officer in the United States Army, and boy is he not ashamed to show his inner boy scout. Using the phrase, "saving lives" upwards of a hundred in the film, he wants nothing more than to find the truth and to set it all free. As he sets out to find why his intel is bad and there are no WMD's anywhere to be found. The first instance of us looking like idiots. So enters Kinnear and Gleeson. Greg Kinnear, playing a sniveling Pentagon Special Intelligence Chief Clark Poundstone, who also has his own supply of Special Forces running around, "sugar coating" situations for him. Martin Brown (Gleeson) C.I.A. and middle east authority, gives us a friend for Damon to rely on. Telling him after a meeting that takes place, his next raid is turning up empty and the leads are as he said, no good at all.

Questioning the method of intelligence gathering the Miller goes back and forth trying to figure out who the lead really is and stumbles upon Freddy (Khalid Abdalla), an injured Iraqi who becomes Miller's translator. Originally coming to him for information, he unintentionally gives away a meeting spot for a General Al-Rawi (Yigal Naor) playing the former general with a small loyal party, he waits to see if he's getting an offer from the U.S. to join or surrender for good. Amy Ryan plays Lawrie Dayne, repping for The Wall Street Journal, and is completely underutilized in this film. This woman has extraordinary talent and deserves a role that can always showcase her ability to remind us just how good she is, like her short stint on The Office for example. 

Turns out, she's been getting her articles' information from none other than Poundstone,who we eventually learn is bullshitting everyone so they can wage war on this country to no end. Another instance of america looking like a suckaboy: She doesn't exactly realize the lie, because, she figured, as she actually says, "He's pentagon Intelligence, why would I question it?" As he's been telling her that a source named "Magellan" is giving them the primary information. 

Words and phrases like "Magellan" and "WMD" are tossed around a hell of a lot, with Miller in the army and Brown from the C.I.A. turning over every leaf to get to either of these things. As much as this film might have started a small fire, Michael Moore is correct, this film tells a fictional but bare bones facts account of how it happened, straight up. And we are the dupes that lead the way over to this country and and stated a bunch of shit for the wrong reasons. Dupes, John, Sucker, these are the things coming to mind after watching this film and then going back and doing the research afterwords on Operation Iraqi Freedom. Wow, yeah freedom, we freed their damn army didn't we? This film isn't anti-American. Because the bulk of the message, however artistically liberties were taken, is true. So all the people around who say otherwise can kiss their own American grits. If you pay attention, there are two stand out lines in this movie that really sum up what this film is about, and even the entire 2003 invasion of Iraq itself. 

Miller from the Army leans in close to Brown from the C.I.A. 
He asks, "We're both looking for WMD's aren't we?"
"It's a little more complicated than that..."

And the stand out, the golden line of dialogue from the entire script, as Freddie, the Iraqi helper to Damon's character puts a bullet into someone's head, he tells him, "It's not up to you to decide what happens here."

There are very nice sequences in this film of action, suspense, bullets flying, people screaming, the hand held shaking and startling the audience, and Damon running and jumping and creeping around corners. Paul Greengrass has taken his approach and put it into a place where it completely works beautifully: war. This film pounds the pulse and get's your heart racing, or at least it did to me. I thought Ultimatum was cool, well, he just topped himself.  

This film, even though filled with plenty of "Haha on you silly follow-the-leader robots who call themselves Americans" this is also able to provide you solid military entertainment at the end of the day. Which is why they made the damn thing in the first place, not drawn unnecessary political attention. Get over yourself and have fun at the damn movies would ya?

Munki Out.

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