A few weeks ago, as I was leaving the screen area of my local cinema, I was passed by a number of men carrying power tools and equipment that looked like it would more suited to an excavation site than a cinema screen. As I ventured further into the outside world (also known as the Foyer) there were stacks of huge boxes. I started to get excited, for absolutely no fathomable reason; all I’d seen is a few guys and boxes. This excitement grew when I googled the word that was on the side of the box: CAMATIC. The first result had the description: “Stadium & Arena, Theatre & Auditorium and Cinema seating specialists”. This could only mean one thing – NEW SEATS!
Feeling powerful that I knew this information (as well as a little nerdy for actually googling it) I eagerly awaited my next visit to try them out. A ‘demonstration’, if you will, was put in the foyer; the way roller coasters have a seat outside the queue line so you can “try it out”, when really it’s there to spare the potential overweight riders the embarrassment of a “Walk Of Shame” off the ride. Turns out, they weren’t replacing all the seats in the screens, just the two rows where you can get a central view and giving them the original name of “VIP Seating”. They looked… nice, I guess. But they weren’t standard price. How could they be? They were for VERY Important People! Or, in reality, people who were willing to pay £1.30 more for a leather seat and that ‘Im-better-than-you’ feeling. However, the cinema were trialling them out for a week at no extra cost. And honestly? They are terrible. The headrests are lower, giving you no room to lean back. The leather just irritated my back. I felt like I was sitting on the lap of the person behind me. I will not be using them again. Standard seating is better. Anyway, Green Zone was my free VIP seating movie. See? That seat story did have a point!
If the poster didn’t give it away enough, Green Zone stars Matt Damon’s face (and body) as Miller, a military officer in the Iraq war who suspect something is amiss when his team of WMD hunters (that’s Weapons Of Mass Destruction, not Waste Management Division. Although, I do like the premise of a team who tracks down garbage men because of their shoddy workmanship) come up empty at every site that their Intel points to. When he raises his concerns, he is told to follow orders and continue going to the useless sites. Getting increasingly frustrated, Miller takes matters into his own hands and takes his team into danger by trusting an unreliable lead in the form of Freddy, an Iraqi who loves his country so much he lost his leg fighting for it. The country, not his leg. That’s just idiotic.
Anyway, I will not go much further into the story because, frankly, it is a tad complex. The same cannot be said about the characters, who are “stock”; there are good guys, and there are bad guys. They are easily distinguishable, and there is no ambiguity to them. Which to me is a good thing; you can tell who you should be rooting for. The inclusion of Briggs, a leader of a Spec Ops team, was not necessary, unless it was only to showcase one of the most badass moustaches in recent memory. I actually wonder whether it was Briggs who was leading, or if the ‘tash was in charge of him.
As I said, the story does get intricate, but if you follow it throughout you shouldn’t have a problem with it. It’s one of those movies that has been deliberately made to make you lose your whole perception of the film as a punishment if you go to the toilet. And it is an interesting story; I’ll let you decide how much of it is real or fiction though. Carrying on, I found the sound rather annoying at times; the first 20 minutes of dialogue are yelled at me like a heavy metal vocalist was interpreting it; it’s loud. Greengrass utilizes the handheld camera method that treated him so well with the Bourne series, but unfortunately it is not as effective here; more nauseating than anything. It does have a documentary style to it, which I liked.
Explosive action scenes and a well written script. It is rare that those two go hand in hand, but Green Zone is an successful example of a film that has both. Sure, it isn’t as tense as The Hurt Locker (which I am certain will help its box office number due to it being the same genre and its recent Oscar domination) but it is a film where the pros certainly outweigh the cons.
Or to put it more “punfully”, Green Zone is more of a Go See than Stop In.