Tuesday, May 29, 2012
(March 2010, U.S.)
GREEN ZONE was not a film I ever expected to see, let alone like. My first (and brief) glance at the movie poster gave me the impression that it was nothing more than just another political/espionage thriller from Paul Greengrass who'd directed two of the BOURNE films. I should also point out that although I think there are some thrilling moments in THE BOURNE SUPREMACY (2004), I've never been too crazy about any of those movies. However, when you belong to a local free library that offers tons of DVDs to borrow, you'll sometimes give a movie a look that you'd never bother to pay a full price theater ticket for. So what did I discover? I discovered that my presumptions based on a movie poster and a director were dead wrong! GREEN ZONE is an exciting war thriller that takes place during the first several weeks of the 2003 Iraq invasion when American soliders were searching for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. As history tells us, they never found any and our wonderful trustworthy American government (yeah, NOT!!!) sold us all a beautiful piece of hand-crafted bullshit!
Matt Damon plays U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller who's in charge of the search operations that ultimately come up empty handed. Frustrated and suspicious, Roy quickly suspects what the American people would later find out - there are no weapons of mass destruction! Roy is a soldier who has the balls to question orders when it becomes clear that his presence and the presence of his brothers in combat is based on a lie. Roy is also naive in his presumption that all high ranking government officials present in Iraq are going to allow him to follow his conscience and do the right thing. Clark Poundstone (played with balls by Greg Kinnear) is just such an official who's ultimate conclusion after many American soldiers and Iraqi citizens have fallen is that WMDs do not matter in the long run. It's at that moment when Damon's character comes full circle for not only himself, but for the entire United States military when he furiously strikes back in saying that "the reason we go to war always matters"! It's almost as if the rest of the film's facts and/or allogations don't even matter. Roy Miller has spoken from his heart and his soul and his words can't be erased or ignored by anyone who cares even a little for this country.
As mentioned earlier, this was a surprise and definitive Iraq war film that grabbed me immediately and very quickly had to become a part of my film collection. It's also a film that took me back to the beginning of the 21st Century. It reminds me of the days and months that followed the events of 9/11, when George W. Bush had the golden opportunity to become one of the greatest American presidents in history by swiftly and precisely striking our enemies who attacked our country. Instead, the asshole sent us to war with Iraq, a country that had not attacked us and did not possess weapons of mass destruction.
Much of the criticism for this film included accusations of "anti-war", "anti-American" and even "slander". These are, in my opinion, the words of fools who seek to hide the truth, no matter how unplausible. Given the set-up of things in the story, we as the film's audience are encouraged to root for Roy Miller's rogue activities and against the government that ultimately lies to us. The bullshit in our government piles up so high we need wings to stay above it!
Favorite line or dialogue:
Roy Miller: "When you peddled that shit in DC, did they know it was a lie? Or did they just never bother to ask?"
Clark Poundstone: "Okay, okay. Come on, none of this matters anymore. WMD? This doesn't matter."
Roy: "What the fuck you talking about!? Of course it fucking matters! The reasons we go to war always matter! It's all that matters! It fucking matters!"