The Bourne Conspiracy
With Matt Damon reuniting with director Paul Greengrass it would be very easy to mention "The Bourne" movies when talking about "Green Zone", you could even come up with something such as "Bourne Goes Political" or "The Bourne Conspiracy", see I said it was easy. But in truth whilst stylistically similar with shaky hand held cameras following people running down the street or travelling in cars "Green Zone" is a different beast with its basis set in the real world. That real world is the whole issue over the fact when America invaded Iraq in 2003 it was because of intel saying they had Weapons of Mass Destruction but it came to be known later on they never had any. This provides the basis of a fictional conspiracy movie as we have a soldier discovering the truth about the deception.
Chief warrant officer Roy Miller (Matt Damon - Invictus) is the leader of a group sent in to areas of Baghdad looking for proof of WMDs but every piece of intel they get proves to be wrong as they never find any evidence. It leads Miller to start to question the strength of the intel information and whilst bureaucrat Clark Poundstone (Greg Kinnear - Ghost Town) assures Miller that the intel is strong he finds himself approached by Martin Brown (Brendan Gleeson) of the CIA who informs him that the intel is weak and there latest mission will turn up blank as well. It is whilst on the mission that Miller meets Iraqi civilian Freddy (Khalid Abdalla) who informs his that there is a secret meeting going on nearby with General Al Rawi (Yigal Naor). Breaking orders and going after Rawi starts a chain of events where Miller begins to doubt whether Iraq had any WMDs in the first place and whether someone had manufactured fake intel just to give them a reason to invade.
Whilst I am aware of the Iraq war debacle as it came to be known that there were no Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq before American soldiers invaded I do not know the ins and outs or the politics and as such I can't tell you if there is any truth to the story presented in "Green Zone". What I will say is that it is a nicely crafted storyline as we go on this journey which slowly unravels a conspiracy as to what may have been a case. The basic elements of this conspiracy link nicely to make it believable, to make it seem like maybe it does mirror the true story but with an additional fictional element of a soldier as are lead to take us through this unravelling mess.
Now as to that soldier, this is where fiction takes over as we have Miller beginning to tire of all the rubbish intel they are given and decides to take matters into his own hand when opportunity presents itself. What we get is a small touch of "Bourne" because we basically have Miller searching for the truth and ending up a hunted man by both some Iraq soldiers but also American soldiers who don't want him to reveal what he has discovered. It is nicely done because whilst not over the top action it has just enough to make this conspiracy movie exciting and stops it from ever becoming too wordy or confusing. In fact that is one of the greatest things about "Green Zone", it is never confusing just intriguing.
Now I will mention Bourne again because as Roy Miller there is a touch of Bourne about him, now that maybe just because we have Matt Damon in the role or that he has been written to be that seeker of the truth who isn't afraid to put himself in danger or confront someone. It is a movie which rests firmly on Damon's shoulders because whilst we have Greg Kinnear as Clark Poundstone, Brendan Gleeson as CIA man Martin Brown and Amy Ryan as journalist Lawrie Dayne it is Damon as Miller who we follow in almost every scene.
What this all boils down to is that "Green Zone" is a nicely put together conspiracy movie which mixes a believable theory with a fictitious character to provide intrigue an entertainment. It is perfectly balanced so whilst we have this conspiracy it never becomes over complicated and even if you are just watching for the action it is easy to follow.