Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

April 9, 2010

Truth or dare

Filed under: Their Films — Rajeev @ 12:43 am

April 09, 2010

Cast: Matt Damon, Yigal Naor, Said Faraj

Director: Paul Greengrass

Matt Damon and his Bourne Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass reunite for action-packed war thriller Green Zone, in which Damon stars as US Army Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller, who after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 has been tasked with finding the weapons of mass destruction whose supposed existence triggered off the war. But after repeatedly leading his unit into desperately dangerous locations and coming up short, Miller decides to investigate for himself whether the WMDs ever existed at all.

Relying on his trademark hyperkinetic camerawork to shoot the film’s breathless chases and non-stop combat scenes, Greengrass lends a sense of visceral immediacy to the action that makes Green Zonemore engaging than your average war drama. But with regards to the film’s plot, the politics are oversimplified, and the characters are etched too broadly in black and white. As a result, there is no thrill of discovery or unexpected surprises that catch you off-guard.

The film’s message — that the US government lied about the existence of weapons of mass destruction — is controversial undoubtedly, but hardly seems provocative now.

Despite a competent central performance from Matt Damon, and sturdy support from supporting players Greg Kinnear and Brendan Gleeson, this conspiracy thriller works mainly for its tense pacing and its propulsive energy.

I’m going with three out of five for Green Zone. It’s consistently watchable and well-intentioned, even if the facts appear somewhat muddled. Pity it comes out the same week as the far superior and much more powerful The Hurt Locker.

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