The Green Zone Delivers

Green ZoneHave you ever wished for a movie that was just straight to the point? No back story haunting the main character, no “mushy” stuff interfering with the plot, no long history of who is who and why they are so good or not so good. Nothing but the characters facing a problem and reacting to it.

Well, this is it. The Green Zone lacks almost every element of conventional storytelling. Someone must have just gotten tired of all the formulas and said, here is a story. Take it or leave it. Surprisingly, I’ll take it.

We’re not told anything about Matt Damon’s character, Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller, except that he is a soldier with some questions about not being able to find the weapons of mass destruction that were supposed to be in Iraq.

His concerns, which are shared by a couple of other people, are of course opposed by someone else, and this creates the story.

If that sounds too straightforward to keep you interested, it’s not. What’s created is a fast-paced film – like I said, no frills to slow it down – that gets more interesting as it unravels.

As the tension built, I was a little worried that by the time it was all explained, it would be too complicated and I’d be wishing for a rewind button to sort it all out. Hip, hip, hooray… the aha moment washed over me with no resistance.

There were a few points in the story where I had some doubts about whether Miller could realistically get away with some of his rogue actions in such a strict military setting, but I’ll let that pass. No story is perfect.

Typical Matt Damon movie, it’s all about him, and to be honest I can’t remember too much about who else was in this film. The bad guy with the curly hair, Greg Kinnear, is a familiar face, but nothing instantly springs to mind as far as the last movie I’ve seen him in.

The other actor who stands out is Khalid Abdalla, who plays Freddie, an Iraqi sidekick who’s pulled along as a translator. He played Amir in The Kite Runner, which if you haven’t seen, you really should. I noticed one Black face among the cast, but I can’t say I remember seeing him among all those guys in uniform.

If you’re not into watching the original version of movies, ie there’s nothing but white paper on the inside jacket covers, there are a few dark scenes in this movie that you won’t be able to make out too well.

Other than that, The Green Zone is the simplest, most effective movie I have seen in a while. That's not to say I want all my movies to be so to the point, but in this case I was happy to just follow the events.

It’s also up 366 percent in popularity this week, which proves that in this case, simplicity sells.

My rating: B

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