Green Zone

Rated 2.0

“Too soon?” we worried when director Paul Greengrass brought out United 93 five years after the fact in 2006. Not so, it turned out, but there’s no getting around the less tactful, too-lateness of this juddering new thriller, with Army officer Matt Damon in 2003 Iraq trying to prevent bogus WMD intelligence from escalating a falsely predicated war. Greengrass has his usual relentless adrenalization down, but screenwriter Brian Helgeland supplies no characters, only symbols. Damon’s is less Jason Bourne than Private Ryan all growed up and promoted for moral purity; or Rambo, but for the left. Greg Kinnear plays a Paul Bremer-esque Pentagon suit, quite clearly a weasel descended from a hawk, and Amy Ryan is an anguished, less stubbornly credulous version of New York Times reporter Judith Miller. When Damon actually shouts, “The reasons we go to war always matter,” it’s like, “Uh, we get it.” The act of trumping up is what Green Zone claims to abhor, and also all it apparently knows how to do.