Note that this review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be understood as belonging to this version of the film as a review of the uncut version would likely be more negative.
Green Zone is a war film and that makes it a pretty unique one for me at the moment because I have not seen many of those. I probably haven’t even seen 5 at present. That being said, it is not a genre that I would expect to enjoy typically because of the very concept. War isn’t fun and it typically translates to some pretty gruesome stories. On the whole, this film handled the situation as well as it could.
Things are heating up in Iraq and it seems like they are harboring weapons of mass destruction. Roy and his team are tasked with retrieving them, but every site that they arrive at is empty. Something clearly isn’t adding up and Roy begins to realize that a darker plot is happening in the background. One way or the other, he plans to get to the bottom of it.
One of the main things that I didn’t like was how America did not look good. There is usually a corrupt politician in the films, but the film makes us look bad on many fronts. Our army is quick to believe the intel that it acquires even though it is proven to be false again and again. Surely, we have people who prevent this from happening. More than one person should be required for this in case we have a turncoat in our midsts. It is rather sad to see the U.S so confused.
One of the soldiers doesn’t even care why they are fighting and he just wants to get out of the war alive. Certainly not a noble sentiment. Really, the picture that is painted shows that the US is simply too big and there is corruption everywhere. We are not fighting the good fight and are using our power to bully those who are weaker than us. That’s just not the US that I remember and I prefer to see us look very heroic and composed.
As a side note, America also looks like it is lacking in intelligence aside from the falling for fake intel part. Why would we publish everything that we are doing to the Wall Street Journal? Seriously, we shouldn’t be publishing anything like that. At the most, we should just be posting false data. Transparency is all well and good, but not if it costs us the war. Sometimes you just need to trust the government. As long as all of the senators and governors are in the loop, we should be okay. We can still know basic data, but certainly not any specifics.
As I mentioned earlier, the film did well in how it handled the violence. The only real violent scene was likely the interrogation one. That was certainly hard to watch as we never like to see an officer abuse his power. The man in charge seemed to realize that the officer was dangerous, but did nothing about it. You end up feeling bad for the man since he was caught between two factions of what he thought was the same army.
Roy is a good main character. Unfortunately, there is not a whole lot that one man can do in a corrupt organization, but he performs to the best of his abilities. He does a good job of getting the last laugh with the ending even if it is a little bitter sweet. He exposed a lot of the wrong doings, but if won’t bring the people back and now the world knows that the US is very disjointed. Still, it is safe to say that he made the right call. At least there will be consequences for the villain now.
Freddy was the main supporting character and he was definitely not very good. His ending is meant to be hardcore as he shows us that we are sticking our noses where they don’t belong, but he just looks s little delusional instead. His country is going to have even more violence now and he panics a whole lot. There was also a reporter to be found here, but she didn’t really add anything to the film. She helps us piece some parts of the puzzle together, but it’s hard to trust her since she will be quick to release any news and I still think that it is a tactical error on our part.
This is the edited version of course, which helps the film out in a big way when it comes to the language part. There were several words that were aired out, which hints at a bad script. It is not much of an issue, but something to be ready for depending on how you see the film.
As for action scenes, we get a few of those, but only one fight scene. Roy looks decent in his fight scene at first, but then he gets trounced. He likely threw the fight, but it still didn’t do him any favors. It reminded me of a fight in the Karate Kid as the main character was beaten up on the beach. Perhaps Roy could have won if he tried, but now we shall never know.
Green Zone’s locale isn’t very interesting as it is very bare and there are no real buildings to be found. Naturally, this is unavoidable based on the plot, but it can still make you wish for something more glamorous. The film is interesting though and you will want to see how it all plays out. That’s always a good sign. The film was certainly a little better than I had expected it to be, but it was still not enough to get in the clear.
Overall, Green Zone had some of the typical negatives that are usually present in the war genre, but it also avoided some. The violence wasn’t as bad as it could have been and the war themes didn’t get too radical. I didn’t like how America was portrayed though and there is certainly not a happy ending to be found. If you like war films, then this is a very good bet for you. If you don’t want any grim reminders of war, then I recommend checking out LBX, the show instead. You will still have high stakes battles, but they will typically end on an epic note.