Sunday, March 14, 2010

Green Zone (**)

Green Zone. 115 mins. R. Directed by Paul Greengrass. Written by Brian Helgeland. Starring Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Amy Ryan, Brendan Gleeson, and Jason Isaacs.

Matt Damon is a fine actor, and his collaborations with Bourne director Paul Greengrass have proved fruitful, but both are barking up the wrong tree with this ludicrous blend of fact and fiction. Damon stars as Jack Bauer, er, I mean Miller, a soldier in Iraq looking for weapons of mass destruction and not finding any. His futile search leads him to uncover vast hypocracy and lies in American government, and ends with lots of run-and-gun shoot outs and characters actually saying, "You shouldn't be here fighting this war." Yuck. Whether you agree with its politics or not, Green Zone just irks when the filmmakers are that unsubtle about their thesis. Greengrass is usually reliable, but the utter ridiculousness of the script (by Brian Helgeland) pokes holes in his handheld shooting style, and the movie looks (and feels) fake. Disappointing.

- John


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