Green Zone

Rated 3.0

Director Paul Greengrass (Bloody Sunday, United 93, two Bourne movies) has a real gift for high-energy, yanked-from-the-headlines storytelling, and his mixtures of combat action and behind-the-scenes political drama are briskly engaging throughout this picture. But the rogue-warrior scheme doesn’t fully suit this quasi-military/detective story with a somewhat trumped-up streak of disillusionment running through it. Green Zone’s narrative rush does make a couple of trenchant detours away from the hero/warrior model—one when Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller (Matt Damon) is kidnapped by rival forces and thereby rendered absent from a small but significant stretch of the action, and another when the story’s ultimate coup de grâce comes not from Miller, but rather from a secondary character of a very different and unexpected sort. And the standard war-movie action is temporarily thrown for an ironic loop when the internal conflicts between the CIA and the Pentagon’s special forces burst out into a little shooting war of their own. Feather River Cinemas and Tinseltown. Rated PG-13