Reviews: Green Zone movie
This week's bookish movie is "Green Zone," the war-time thriller drawn from "Imperial Life in the Emerald City." I say "drawn from" because the book's author, former Washington Post reporter Rajiv Chandrasakaran, analyzed the Americans' idealistic but misguided policies in occupied Iraq. I don't recall Matt Damon in that account. The Hollywood version features Damon at his Bourne best, searching out conspiracies and dodging bullets. (You can read other reviews of book adaptations such as Shutter Island and The Ghost Writer here.) Some reviews:
Chicago Tribune -- To me, it's too soon, or perhaps just too depressing, to turn recent, tragic and grimly well-documented geopolitical events ... that did not reflect well on America's place and purpose in the world into simplified, thriller-friendly material. "Green Zone" is partly real and partly, increasingly, fantastic and outlandish in its wishful thinking.
New Yorker -- “Green Zone” approaches every human activity as if preparing to defibrillate. ... This pathological wish to thrill delivers diminishing returns.
Roger Ebert -- Yes, the film is fiction, employs farfetched coincidences and improbably places one man at the center of all the action. It is a thriller, not a documentary. ... The bottom line is: This is one hell of a thriller.
Village Voice -- From the opening frenzy of hopped-up shock-and-awe panic among the Iraqi leadership to the frantic final chopper chase through the back alleys of downtown Baghdad, the movie is nonstop havoc. You catch your breath only to have the wind knocked out by the mirage of the carefree scene around the Green Zone swimming pool.
Associated Press -- Their thriller about the futile search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is a visual and visceral knockout that's utterly deflated by a story as common, coarse and unappetizing as Army field rations.
Entertainment Weekly -- Green Zone is a strangely dated, foolishly grandiose, simplistically angry fictional war-zone thriller about how one patriot blows the lid off America's missteps in Iraq.