Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Man on Film: Green Zone

While lacking the white-knuckle action of the latter two-thirds of the Bourne Trilogy, the Paul Greengrass/Matt Damon team-up Green Zone more than makes up for the comparative lack of balls-to-the-wall, high-octane action with intrigue and tension to spare. Here, Greengrass's mastery over the suspense/action genre is on full display, opening with a hand-held sequence following Iraqi regime in power during the moments immediately following the invasion of Baghdad that deftly conveys the frenzy and chaos to the audience.

Putting the audience in a state of unease from the start, Greengrass then introduces us to Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller, who has spent the first months following the invasion searching for WMD, having every lead turn up nothing. With frustration mounting, he begins to delve into what we now know was the flawed case for going into Iraq.

After being (sort of) recruited by CIA man Martin Brown (played by Brendan Gleeson), Miller finds himself working in opposition to Pentagon Special Intelligence hack Clark Poundstone. Poundstone is played by Greg Kinnear, whose casting enables the fantasy fulfillment all who were wondering what happened to those conjoined twins in Stuck On You.

Well, here, you get your answer.

And while Green Zone is a slightly more serious unofficial sequel to Stuck On You, it definitely has the fun that you would hope for from that follow-up--of course, hilarity isn't ensuing; rather the fun is derived from the uncovering of a political scandal and shady dealings.

Throughout the film, Greengrass's expertise is evident, and his ability to craft an intelligent action film ultimately satisfies. Damon furthers his now deserved reputation as both an accomplished dramatic actor and a legitimate action star. The inconsistent scribe Brian Helgeland does his part to reclaim his good name, but it does feel like some of the characters are less fleshed out than they might have been in another writer's hands. Still, no one seems like they're cardboard cut-outs, so any writing complaints are nominally applicable.

What Green Zone is is a helluva ride, and it is rife with gravitas.

1 comment:

Weibel said...

I don't know if you caught this while watching the movie, but did you notice all the Bush-Cheney signs and the confederate flag, and the bible study signs in the background....kinda creepy

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