Group Stages – Round 1: Green Zone (FRA) vs 25 Watts (URU)
by Nicholas Robinson
The first half: Following the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller (Matt Damon) and his men are charged with finding the so-called weapons of mass destruction, whose existence justified American involvement, according to the Pentagon and their man in Baghdad, Poundstone (Greg Kinnear). Veteran CIA operative Marty (Brendan Gleeson) tells Miller that there are no weapons, it is a deception to allow the Americans to take over the country and install a puppet leader. Also suspicious of Poundstone is Wall Street Journal reporter Lawrie Dayne (Amy Ryan), who lets slip to Miller that Poundstone told her he had secret talks in Jordan with an important Iraqi, code-named Magellan, who told him about the weapons, though it now seems likely Magellan’s true information was to the contrary. So begins a hunt for the truth. Who’s playing whom? – IMDB.com
I barely knew anything about this movie before I started watching it. All I knew was that Matt Damon was a soldier in Iraq. That was enough to get me psyched to watch this movie. That and Paul Greengrass was directing it making me think it was going to be like the Bourne movies. I was not disappointed. The acting was really good, the story was well written, no screen time was wasted and I liked the grainy look the movie had.
The acting in this movie was really good all around. I however, have to give special attention to Matt Damon and Khalid Abdalla (Freddy). Matt gave a wonderful performance as usual making you fell the frustration and anger when his character was frustrated and angry. Khalid Abdalla also gave a terrific performance in which you could see how the events occuring around him affected how he behaved and it was also a reflection on how it affected the regular Iraqi people because he himself was a regular Iraqi who just happened to notice something and was then caught up in this big conspiracy.
As I said above, the story was well written. I saw the twist coming, but unlike other movies I didn’t see it coming right away. It took me a while. What I also noticed about this story is that it is completely believable. Meaning, something like that could have actually happened back in 2003. This is good in the sense that it makes you think if something like this did happen and they didn’t tell us but it is also bad. Movies are supposed to be an escape from reality. The more believable a story is, the less you escape. Even though most people wouldn’t consider that a minus, I do.
What I was surprised to find in this movie was that the shaky-cam (what I like to call “The Greengrass”) was not overused at all. In fact, the amount of shaky-cam in this movie was just right. It was used in shots like people running or some combat scenes, but not every two minutes like in the second Bourne film, The Bourne Supremacy. Another thing I liked was the grainy look of the movie. It made it seem more realistic, as if this was filmed in an actual war where cameras don’t shoot high quality IMAX footage, but they record what needs to be seen.
However, a lot of the minor characters such as Poundstone and Lawrie Dayne could have been developed more. Some of them felt like characters that just needed to be there so that one thing could happen and the rest of the movie, they are basically useless.
Overall, this is a really good movie that I think all fans of suspense, action and the Bourne films should see.
IMDB says 7.1/10
RT says 55%
I say 8.5/10
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