Film Review: Green Zone

A number of reviews have highlighted Green Zone‘s similarities to the Bourne film series. It is not hard to see why – with Greengrass at the helm (director of two of the Bourne films) and Matt Damon taking centre stage, Green Zone could be ‘Bourne in Iraq’.

Taking cues from Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s Imperial Life in the Emerald City, the film focuses on the WMD (or lack of) scandal in 2003. Damon plays a soldier who becomes suspicious about the intelligence after his unit’s lack of success in locating the weapons of mass destruction.

The film attempts to saddle an action thriller with a real political narrative. The problem lies in the fact that in this type of action film, the political element does not work too successfully. The political story is simplified in order to placate the need for the frequent action sequences. And as this is based on a recent and familiar subject, there is little doubt to how the film will conclude.

Greengrass’ use of hand-held camera is present once again here; the technique certainly adds tension in pivotal scenes. Moreover, production design, sound and editing are all solid. As an action thriller, Green Zone is an enjoyable enough film.

In the post-Bush era, one imagines that Green Zone is only one of many films that will be made concerning the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions. Like the plethora of ‘Nam films decades before, there are sure to be more controversial or illuminating ventures than this rather stock Greengrass feature.