Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Matt Damon, Brendan Gleeson, Greg Kinnear, Jason Isaacs,
Amy Ryan, Khalid Abdalla, Yigal Naor

"Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller is done following orders!"

Cinema 4, SM Megamall

Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon are back. The dynamic duo who entertained us with the last two Bourne (The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum) movies come a packing with this action filled caper set during the early years of the Iraq War.

It is 2003 and Baghdad is levelled down to the ground. There is total chaos. Conditions are pretty bad - no electricity, no water and the populace live under bleak, depressing circumstances. Enter Roy Miller (Matt Damon) a chief warrant officer who is assigned to hunt for WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) based on 'reliable' intelligence reports. But he keeps coming out empty because we ALL know by now - there never were any WMD in that country. Frustrated yet somehow righteous, he makes it his mission to uncover the source of the Intel reports and makes it his quest "to justify the war" - never mind if he encounters authoritative persons who can really make life miserable for him in more ways than one. The film is peppered with references to characters who played significant roles in the invasion of Iraq. CIA operatives, shady Pentagon officials, Wall Street Journal reporter, special ops forces - throw in a former general in the Bath party of Saddam and Freddy (Khalid Abdalla) a patriotic Iraqi citizen who is dragged along to act as an interpreter.

The action is fast paced. Loud explosives contribute to the ear deafening factor amidst the total destruction of Baghdad, a capital city once revered in history for its architectural wonders. The entire cast (Greg Kinnear, Brendan Gleeson, Amy Ryan, Jason Isaacs) of good actors all play highly convincing characters with varying degrees of personalities. Of course, the presence of Matt Damon as a passionate soldier who feels the need to do things right is the main essence of the film. He is great in these type of roles.

The plot though plays out like an anti-War, anti-America political commentary with some holier than thou statements from Freddy who spews venom against his so called 'rescuers'. And rightly so since they just invaded his country with nary a thought on the devastating consequences. Some scenes are shaky as they are filmed with a hand held camera but thankfully they are just a few sequences so it won't give you much of a headache.

Overall it is a highly entertaining film with a good cast but somehow it feels like an after thought as the story line focuses on the search for WMD. A topic so passe it makes me think of fashion faux pas like shoulder pads.

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