© Universal Pictures International Germany GmbH

Green Zone
France/U.S.A./Spain/U.K. 2010

Opening 18 Mar 2010

Directed by: Paul Greengrass
Writing credits: Brian Helgeland, Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Principal actors: Matt Damon, Amy Ryan, Yigal Naor, Said Faraj, Greg Kinnear

In Bagdad Roy Miller (Matt Damon) leads a U.S. special army unit in the search for weapons of mass destruction. While members of the CIA team (actors Greg Kinnear and Brendan Gleeson) safely hang out in Sadam’s old palace, known as the Green Zone, Miller and his men risk their lives jumping from helicopters, searching houses, and exchanging fire with resurgents. Soon a light twinkles in Miller’s brain: there are no weapons of mass destruction. He sets out to prove it with the help of an Iraqi nicknamed Freddy who wants to avenge his fatherland. They meet secretly with an underground Iraqi militiaman who plans subversion. At the same time a U.S.-supported new Iraqi president publicly meets the press to declare that all is well, the war is over. Here the New York Times reporter is played by Amy Ryan.

If this sounds confusing, it’s because I am confused. There are references to real events such as “your government wanted to hear a lie;” the CIA covers up; the press prints the truth. I kept trying to piece the entire film into a documentary, which is not possible because there is too much fantasy. It is based on the novel by Rajiv Chandrasekaran. I suggest you just sit back and enjoy the explosions, the music panting to keep up with the action, poor Matt Damon gritting his teeth against the big bad CIA, the dust and the palace swimming pool. I’m sure the whole crew had fun working in Spain and Morocco (very authentic looking). (Becky Tan)

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