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movie review by David Blackwell
115 minutes, rated R
STUDIO:  Universal Pictures/ Relativity media/ Working Title Films/ Studio Canal/  Antena 3 Films
Theatrical RELEASE DATE:  3-12-2010
STARRING Matt Damon (Miller), Greg Kinnear (Clark Pundstone), Amy Ryan (Lawrie Dayne) , Brendan Gleeson (Martin Brown), Yigal Naor (Al Rawi)
WRITTEN by Brain Helgeland, loosely based on the book by Rajiv Chandrasekaran
DIRECTED by Paul Greengrass

Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller (Matt Damon) is hunting down WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction) in Iraq a few weeks after US forces have taken over Baghdad.   A mysterious source code-named Magellan has been giving bad Intel about WMDs and Roy wants to know why.  He tries to bring it up with his superiors, but they don't want to listen.  Martin Pundstone (Greg Kinnear) is responsible for getting Magellan as an assist.  Martin Brown of the CIA knows something stinks and he brings in Miller to find General Al Rawi, but Poundstone doesn't want Miller to get Al Rawi.  Thrown in a female reporter from the Wall Street Journal (who is printing stories about WMDs in Iraq), GREEN ZONE makes a pleasant time filler until Damon does the next Bourne film.

Paul Greengrass directs Damon for the third time in another great directing job from Greengrass (who directed two of the Bourne films).   Damon plays Miller as a man who just wants to do his job while Poundstone is all about covering his butt (and not shaking the mission to liberate Iraq apart).  Martin Brown wants to bring stability to Iraq by dealing with the Iraq military while higher-ups like Poundstone think it is better to leave the military out and bring in a puppet to rule Iraq.

GREEN ZONE shows how screwed up the aftermath of the liberation of Iraq was.  No one wants to admit the Intel about WMDs was bad.  They want to tow the line.  Miller is the ultimate boyscout who will go rogue if it means it gets the job done.  He has no time for missions that bring no results.   He tries to make an Iraq citizen work with him even if the Iraqi doesn't care all about what Miller wants.  They're at odds at what should be done with al Rawi when they catch up with him.  They think their reasons are just even if they don't meet up up.   The Iraqi cares about his country while Miller wants stability to Iraq even if it means making a deal with the Devil (Al Rawi) .  Also the film shows the destruction left in the wake of the liberation and the conditions there (The Iraq citizens have it rough while the visiting forces live it up at a hotel).  GREEN ZONE is a fascinating film even though it doesn't meet the level of energy that the Bourne films bring.   I hope Universal get Matt Damon to do another Bourne film again (and not their idea of doing a prequel).

this movie review is (c)3-16-2010 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com