“Green Zone” a simple story with complex overtones
Dan Culberson | Mar 21, 2010
Green Zone is the third collaboration of director Paul Greengrass and actor Matt Damon, the first two being the 2004 The Bourne Supremacy and the 2007 The Bourne Ultimatum, and as Time magazine put it, this movie essentially parachutes “their franchise’s hero, Jason Bourne, into the toxic reality of Iraq.”
This time, however, Damon plays U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller, and his assignment right after the war in Iraq began is to lead his team of soldiers to find the weapons of mass destruction that were the cause of the war in the first place.
So, we see Chief Miller and his team roll up to a site in Baghdad that is a disaster, full of Iraqi looters and even an Iraqi sniper in the area.
Miller finds the U.S. officer in charge and tells him, “Intel says we’ve got live chemical agents in this site!”
After they take out the sniper, they go into the building and find . . . nothing. No chemical agents, no weapons of mass destruction, nothing, nada, zip, zilch!
This is not the first time, either. Chief Miller and his team hit another site the week before that was supposedly based on good intelligence, but the site turned out to be nothing more than a toilet factory.
Then we meet Clark Poundstone, played by Greg Kinnear. Poundstone is from Pentagon Special Intelligence, and he swears by the intelligence they have been receiving from an Iraqi source with the code name “Magellan.”
In the meantime, Miller encounters an Iraqi civilian who tells him about a private meeting taking place with high-value Iraqis. They call the man “Freddy,” and he leads them to the house where, sure enough, one of Saddam Hussein’s high-level generals, named Al-Rawi, is at the meeting, but he escapes after a firefight.
At this point other American troops come onto the scene, and a fight breaks out between them and Miller’s team over a black book that was obtained at the house.
There is the suspicion that General Al-Rawi is actually Magellan and was intentionally feeding the Americans false information, which Poundstone might even have known was false.
At this point, the movie turns into one long complicated chase that is awfully confusing about who is who and what is going on.
Green Zone is a simple story with complex overtones.