Somehow, you wonder, what exactly is the point of this movie?  Not in the sense of, does this movie have a point, which is does, in spades no less.  But, my asking of the question “what is the point of this movie” is in reference to, why was this movie made?

That’s not to say that this is a bad movie.  For what its worth, this movie is quite good.  Paul Greengrass is a terrific action director, despite his maniacal hand-held camera style.  The action scenes scattered throughout are visceral in design, and it makes you feel completely in the action the entire time.  The acting is decent, but this isn’t an acting movie.  Green Zone is very plot driven, and the characters respond to what happens next in the plot.  There are various maneuvers that lead the characters to the end game, and even then, the game isn’t over, as the game proceeds beyond the running time of the film.

The bulk of the movie takes place several weeks after the launch of the US-led invasion of Iraq in early 2003.  Chief Miller (Matt Damon in a not-a-Jason-Bourne role that so many people think he’s in) takes his company to various sites throughout Baghdag searching for those elusive WMDs (plot spoiler (if there was a need for one): there are no WMDs) but he keeps coming up empty handed.  He wanders around, looking for answers, but getting elusive ones, primarily from a Pentagon political person, Poundstone (Greg Kinnear), a former CIA operative turned adviser Martin Brown (Brendan Gleeson, who I get to listen to in The Secret of Kells this week), and a persistent Wall Street Journal writer, Lawrie Dayne (Amy Ryan), who all know something that Miller doesn’t know, but then again, only Poundstone knows the truth of everything and will keep quiet on that truth.

Make sense?  I tried to make sense of it.

That’s probably as far as I’ll go with the plot.  Now, back to my original question: what exactly is the point of this movie?  This movie attempts to explain why America went to war in Iraq in the first place (those pesky WMDs).  There is a definite leftist slant to the movie, which will greatly anger right wingers indeed.  I don’t find complete justification in the anti-American criticism in the movie though.  If anything, it’s anti-utilitarian (the ends justify the means perspective, or as Google led me to, Consequentialism): we want Saddam out of power, so we will use whatever means necessarily to justify why we’re booting him out, eff all to ethics and morals.  I can imagine (though research is warranted) utilitarianism drove the country forward in the immediate months and years after 9/11, which is fine to a certain extent, but if you reach a point where you sacrifice ethics and morals for the sake of the end, as this movie suggests, then you face a seriously question in conscience and character.

Is that the final point with it though?  Who knows.  A movie like this desires discussion, even though it’ll split your audience in half.  Then again, we already know what happens, or rather, what actually happened in Iraq with regards to WMDs.  So, the discussion is already over, isn’t it?  Maybe not.  We’re still in Iraq, but on our way out.

So why are we there in the first place?  Green Zone attempts to answer why, and it manages to do so in a reasonable enough way.  Not everyone will agree, but not everyone is supposed to.

B

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