Matt Damon’s back, but this time in fatigues not turtleneck sweaters and gun-concealing overcoats. Straight up, Green Zone is a good movie. The stage is set, the plot begins to unfold and the major players are introduced at the outset. Matt plays Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller. Miller’s task is to secure Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) sites in Iraq as the US invades. Iraqis are literally looting sites he’s moving to inspect. His team’s sufficiently exposed, but he has to lock down the sites and secure whatever’s there. That’s his mission.
After three misses, Miller starts asking questions. Why are these sites empty? Where are we getting this faulty intel? Miller asks realistic plausible questions many Americans were asking themselves after the Gulf War at the time. Many of these questions still remain unanswered to the general public’s satisfaction even today. Miller finds himself working against the clock. He discovers he barely misses General Al Rawi, an Iraqi General in charge of Iraq’s chemical weapons program. If anyone knew where the WMDs were in Iraq, Al Rawi would. He knows if he bags the Ace of Clubs (Al Rawi’s card in the deck of 52), he can remove a big player from the board and move on those WMD sites to complete his mission. The pace of the movie’s good. Damon’s character’s a smart, moral, and decisive character. Miller’s chief opponent is Clark Poundstone (Greg Kinnear) who’s source (Magellan) inside the Iraqi military provided the WMD intel. Poundstone keeps a Special Forces Commander Briggs (Jason Isaacs) in his back pocket to add to the excitement. Briggs snatches up Miller’s prisoners who have information on Al Rawi. Miller needs Al Rawi to get answers. Heading back to HQ for some answers as to why his prisoners were taken from him, Miller meets a CIA guy named Martin Brown (Brendan Gleeson). Poundstone and Brown are clearly political opponents. Amy Ryan plays journalist Lawrie Dayne who watches Miller and Brown having a conversation at HQ. More motivations start coming to light as Miller begins putting some of the pieces together. The tension’s constant throughout the film as Miller struggles to stay ahead of his as-yet-unseen opponents as he gets closer to the truth. The movie’s filled with plenty of gritty action from breaching buildings, gun battles, hand-to-hand combat, a Blackhawk helicopter filled with surveillance gear that just cooool to good old car/HUMVEE) chases.
Green Zone‘s definitely worth seeing in the theater, but like most films these days, it is one you can wait on to hit DVD if you have a nice 42″+ flatscreen TV.