Sunday, March 14, 2010

Review - Green Zone (2010)

Director: Paul Greengrass
Starring: Matt Damon, Brendon Gleeson, Greg Kinnear, Jason Issac
Screenplay: Brian Helgeland

Plot: US Army Officer Miller hunts for Weapons of Mass Destruction in the early stages of the Iraq War. However after a few missions which fail to yield any WMD’s he starts to ask questions about the Intel source. It leads Miller to hunt down a general of Sadam Hussain’s by the name of Al Rawi.

This was a good movie, the acting was on par and I was very interested in what was happening. Shame I could hardly concentrate on the screen thanks to the horrid camera work. It just frustrates me to no end that this shaky camera work is used when it doesn’t need to be. I’ll except the argument that the camera adds to the action as it makes the audiences’ feel the dizziness of the fight, the not being able to comprehend everything but do we need a shaky cam for a press conference? At the end of the day it comes down to Paul Greengrass and the look that he is after. For one I want to really know what he was trying to accomplish as maybe I’m missing something.

Acting wise we have some pretty solid performances but nothing that the actors haven’t accomplished before. Now Bourne has been used as the reference point mainly thanks to the marketers of the movie. I really wish they didn’t as Matt Damon as Miller is very different. It’s unfair to lump this in with the other Bourne movies. I’ve also got a soft spot for Brendon Gleeson as Martin Brown, his character offers the audience a reasonable approach to the Iraq situation yet at the same time it as a tinge of reality that many people may not want to except. Greg Kinnear is also good as the Washington stooge Clark Poundstone and while being extreme with his beliefs you can’t fully boo the man. Every character added to the message of the movie and I’m glad they got capable actors so they could make the most of what they had.

Green Zones greatest strength is it gives a measured message. What would seem right has strings attached, and what is wrong might be the most effective. Also there is a strong voice from the Iraq people which was very nice to see represented in the form of complicated characters. Unlike that other recent Iraq War movie Hurt Locker this movie is about the message.

I wish I could recommend this movie but everything that is done well is just wrecked by the camera work. Of course people might get a lot out of the movie so consider this due warning. Next time I hope Greengrass tries to do something different visually because there is so much right in his films it’s disappointing to see it get ruined.

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