I had high hopes for Green Zone. I really did. I'm a big fan of the Bourne movies and thought the sullen, slightly dazed but explosively violent character that Matt Damon played in the trilogy was perfect, a breakout role for him and a chance for us to see him as a cool - and different - sort of action hero.
Matt Damon stars as Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller and with an occasional nudge by CIA chief Martin Brown (Brendan Gleeson) he gets increasingly frustrated by the dangerous missions his team's sent on, finding empty warehouses where intel has pinpointed WMDs (weapons of mass destruction). Leading the government conspiracy is Clark Poundstone (Greg Kinnear). The final ingredient in the stew is Wall Street Journal reporter Lawrie Dayne (Amy Ryan), who shows up at semi-random points mostly as a device to propel the storyline.
Unfortunately, while Green Zone was exciting and visually impressive, Damon was completely flat and unbelievable, one of the most actionless action roles we've seen on screen in a while. Worse, the sinister government plot to manufacture weapons of mass destruction as justification for the Iraqi invasion was daft and shallow, played out more like a comic book action story than a serious wartime thriller.
To be fair, though, the film did draw me in and it wasn't until the last thirty minutes or so that it became increasingly unbelievable, with twists and scenes that made me literally laugh out loud at their absurdity. I can't reveal the plot holes without spoiling the film for you, but suffice to say, by the end of the film, it's clear that Green Zone is more of a wish fulfillment story, a fantasy about how we presumably hope a lone agent of truth would ferret out what's really happening outside the green "safe" zone in Iraq.