Green means go

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Green Zone explodes with 4 Red Vines for showing courage under fire

Green means go!

“The Hurt Locker” was my Oscar pick for Best 2009 Movie in spite of my dislike of war movies.  I’ve made no secret of my disdain for the ‘war movie genre’.  So I was not too happy to be back in Bagdad so soon.  But I gotta say my adventure into the “Green Zone” was a white knuckled ride I highly recommend!

While the focus of “The Hurt Locker” was IEDs, this time around our soldiers are hunting down WMDs.  (You know those infamous weapons of mass destruction that were never found.)  Matt Damon plays an Army General whose unit is on the hunt for the non-existent weapons.  But when they repeatedly come up empty handed after risking their lives searching, it becomes evident to him that the intelligence is off the mark.  After trying to bring this up to his superiors he is admonished.  And like any good soldier-in the movies at least- he goes rogue!  Now his new self-appointed mission is to find out who is responsible for this false intelligence and why.

While “The Hurt Locker” managed to deftly stay away from making any political statements, “Green Zone” is nothing but statement!  Damon’s character is soon caught between a tug of war between a Pentagon weasel (Greg Kinnear) and a well plugged in CIA vet (Brendon Gleeson).  Both men do an excellent job at playing their polar opposite parts.

The movie is almost totally hand held shaky cam, which is a hallmark of Director Paul Greengrass (“The Bourne Identity” franchise).  While the style at times seems a bit overdone, it fits the movie’s tension perfectly.  And talk about tension!  About half way through the movie I realized that I had been biting my finger the whole time!  This movie starts out with our shameful night of ‘shock and awe’ and the firepower never lets up, all the way to a simply stunning showdown conclusion.  If nothing else, the movie should be an Oscar shoe-in for special effects and set design, too, as it was not shot in Baghdad but Morocco and Spain.

You know, I have never thought of myself as a Matt Damon fan but that has quickly changed just over the last three movies of his that I have seen.  His character as General Miller is about as far from his soccer playing South African in “Invictus” as that character was from his insane and totally fun liar in “The Informant!”  He’s still so young, I can’t imagine what the future holds for this talented chameleon but I am so looking forward to it!

So even if you, like me, don’t like war movie, take a risk and strap on your fatigues for a fantastic movie thrill ride and step into the “Green Zone”!

A preview of this movie was provided to me by the studio but it in no way affects my unbiased review.