Green Zone

Year: 2010
Studio: Universal
Director: Paul Greengrass
Writer: Brian Helgeland
Cast: Matt Damon, Brendan Gleeson, Greg Kinnear

It's not tired yet, but the lacklustre box office so far suggests people already think it is. Expecting Bourne goes Baghdad, they're staying away in droves.

And that's indeed what you'll get. Damon's army warrant officer searching for the chemical weapons we now know were never there is indivisible from Bourne, he's just in the army. And partner in crime Greengrass seems to follow the action with the camera on his shoulder, still the patron saint of the handheld war-zone shooting style.

But the thing to remember is that both Bourne and Greengrass are worth your time, which makes this film worth seeing. It's just that the magic won't last much longer and it will get tired very quickly if we see 'Damon and Greengrass do battlefield' as often as we see 'Burton and Depp do kooky gothic'.

Perhaps mindful of the money lost on Iraq issues movies, Greengrass dresses his film up as a chase thriller. A high ranking general has gone to ground in the days following the 2003 invasion, and as Miller (Damon) and his squad search in vain for weapons, he learns that the Iraqi met with slimy CIA agent Poundstone (Kinnear) before the war, telling the US government there were no weapons programs.

Instead, the CIA buried it so the administration could carry out its much-desired attack, and now they have to try and find the Iraqi general and silence him – along with Miller now he knows too much. Aided by sympathetic agent Brown (Gleeson), Miller plunges into the dusty, bombed out ruins of Baghdad to find the man everyone's looking for.

Critical of the invasion and subsequent events, the film's decidedly left wing. But it can't hide the love for military violence American audiences lap up. Giving us the thrills and spills of urban war but criticising it at the same time usually makes for a strange disconnect that rarely works in movies but it does here.

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