Whether or not Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon wanted to sell Green Zone as a companion piece to the Bourne films, the similarities are obvious. Revealing truth in government is something Jason Bourne spent a trilogy trying to achieve, and 'Roy Miller' doesn't do a bad job. He wonders why nobody's finding any WMDs in Baghdad and whether the invasion was justified. The film doesn't show the US versus Iraq, but warring sides of the American forces. Some of them talk sense, others are a bit shady. Green Zone has a point to make, and it could have said it more softly, but they decided to make this point through an action film. A pretty good action film. All of its messages are condensed into single lines - 'It is not for you to decide what happens here' - leaving room for the explosions. The message isn't weakened by this style. Paul Greengrass and writer Brian Helgeland actually manage to give it more volume. It's shouted across helicopter fights and car chases, and in Jason Isaacs' large moustache. By the time George Bush appears giving a victory speech, the film has already painted him as the villain. So it's annoyed Fox News and pleased anyone who wants to pretend that it's the fourth Bourne film. That's probably a good day's work.
Greengrass uses the same loose and frantic style, though I'm not really sure what to call it. It's not 'documentary style', there's too much music for that. It might be 'cinema vérité', but I'm not about to start writing in French. It could be 'handheld', but that sounds too vague. You know what I mean though. Some people complain that it's just shaky and disorientating, but these people are almost definitely wrong. Greengrass would say it 'crackles with reality'. Yes, he's probably right.