Green Zone

Paul Greengrass, director of such marvels of film editing as Bloody Sunday (2002), United 93 (2006), Bourne Supremacy (2004) and Bourne Ultimatum (2007) now comes out with Green Zone. Starring Matt Damon this is a suspenseful and extremely realistic portrayal of the Iraq war at the beginning of operation Desert Storm. Soldiers are told to seek out Saddam’s WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction) but are coming up empty as there appears to be a flaw with the intelligence. Of course today we know there never were any WMDs in Iraq and so did the US Government who were informed long before the invasion. This information probably gave the US Military the courage to launch the invasion without worrying about a counter attack and at the same time gave them the excuse they needed to take out Saddam.

This film has much of the same pace and editing style of the Bourne films making it very suspenseful and exciting but it also attempts to show the secret dealings of the US government. If you haven’t seen it or any of Paul Greengrass’ films I highly recommend them. There are some who have criticized the shaky camera style of filming and rapid editing but this all adds to the realism and feeling of immediacy. It puts the viewer closer to the action. That is why it is now a commonly used style of filming for movies and many TV shows.

Greengrass is very good at switching between multiple storylines simultaneously, to heighten the suspense and keep the action continuous. This gives a film added imagery and more shots from different angles so the action can be seen from many different perspectives at the same time. Today there is so much more imagery packed into a film’s two hour running time that you really feel like you are getting your money’s worth of imagery and story. Add to that the benefit of digitally enhanced imagery that can put the viewer anywhere you can imagine, and film is now a much more powerful tool than it has ever been, and Paul Greengrass is definitely one of the directors at the fore-front of the new technical revolution that the film industry is enjoying.


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