Posted by: daveed | October 27, 2009

Green with envy

This is a film I wish I’d been given the job to write. For about three years, I’d been doing tons of research on military contractors—too much research, really. When it came time to map out my story, the fire was gone. Still, I think there are plenty of good stories to be told about our recent imperial adventures. And sadly, but with very few exceptions, they have not been told.

Paul Greengrass’s Green Zone stars Matt Damon as a special ops-type investigator who gets caught in a lethal game when he goes to Iraq to find WMDs. From the trailer, it looks like Bourne Identity meets Black Hawk Down, with a dash of Syriana for political controversy:

The dialogue, however, is leaden and banal, and utterly predictable. (Someone please ban the phrase, “You’re off the reservation” from films like this forever, okay?) And I’m a little concerned that the plot will sink under its own inflated sense of purpose. Hollywood has been trying to scratch that itch for years, with awful results like the flaccid Lions for Lambs and the disappointing Body of Lies. Now in this post-Bush era, I wonder whether Tinseltown is hoping for more success in resurrecting its Bush-Iraq War grudge. Remains to be seen.

Still, I’m hoping Greengrass and screenwriter Brian Helgeland deliver the goods—a kick-ass movie with enough nuance to elevate it above the level of a blow-em-up flick.

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