Welcome to another film ‘based on real-life stories written in a book’ regarding the Iraq War. This time, it’s Imperial Life in the Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekaran. As we all know though, in the process of making a book into a movie it might have to stray considerably away from it. In this case, the film’s plot could be written on the back of a paper napkin.
Matt Damon is the quintessential good guy who fighting in Iraq to find weapons of mass destruction, post-war – but on ‘coming up empty’ at all sites wants to find out why the intelligence reports are bad. He barks out snarky one-liners while staring into the distance pondering on what could’ve gone wrong. The rest of the army unit, of course, are ‘just there to do a job’ and don’t ‘care about the reasons’. Such depth of character indeed!
You know why The Hurt Locker is such a good film? Because it breaks from the mould. It showed us that a war movie doesn’t need to be frenetic “Battalion is oscar mike” stuff. Green Zone is practically the same as Body of Lies, The Kingdom et al. Nothing in these last three films stands out that I’ll be able to recall as specifically being from that film, three months down the line.
What Green Zone does excel in is, again, the frenetic “Battalion is oscar mike” stuff. Paul Greengrass pulls out his steadicam and dishes us fast-paced action film with fluid handheld footage. If this film was named Jason Bourne 4.0 instead, not much would’ve changed. You’ll enjoy your time in the theatre – if you like this genre – but it’s not a ‘memorable’ film as such.
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