Nothing gets my hackles up faster, at least in the horror movie circuit, than someone saying “based on a true story”. Those five words engender my interest and my skepticism faster than just about anything. So when I saw the poster for Fair Game, I was plenty surprised.
Fair Game follows the story of Valerie Plame, the CIA agent outed back in the day by a fair number of people, none of whom received jail time or anything like that over it. Anyway, Plame worked in the CIA’s Counter-Proliferation Division, and she was leading an investigation on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Her husband was sent to Niger on a related fact-finding mission, and the facts he found weren’t good. Thus began a long and winding odyssey of betrayal and government chicanery.
Sounds like State of Play on steroids, and a great comedown for the Halloween horror season. You can catch this one in theaters November 5th.
It’s something of a truism that art inevitably takes on the appearance of life itself. It’s a reflection of the things we see and hear every day. But life also has a way of imitating art, too, with its often more simplistic view. The simulacrum is almost never as complex as the thing it imitates, so people long for a life that is as simple as art.
And if you’re confused by the above statement, then I’ve done my job. Wonder why? Read on.
Green Zone features an American soldier (played by Matt Damon, and considering the guy just recently castigated the Democratic Party for not being PROGRESSIVE ENOUGH, this casting move makes a LOT of sense here) who’s off searching for those gosh-darned weapons of mass destruction that, to this day, no one can really seem to find in Iraq. Thus, our soldier will embark on a long and winding quest to try and find those gosh-darned weapons once and for all.
The problem here, of course, is that the White House and the CIA are at odds over long term strategy in Iraq, and part of that strategy apparently involves keeping everybody in the dark about the fact that we still can’t find those gosh-darned weapons thus we’re going to have a whole lot of back-and-forth cat-and-mouse loads-of-hyphenated-terms that add up to one thing:
Whoever wrote this movie didn’t have one single clue in his head about where he was going with it.
Seriously, this movie spends so much time on interdepartmental turf wars and associated backbiting (since when do Special Forces guys get in fist fights with regular Army? Any veterans out there want to ring in on that?) that it fails to realize how ABSURD its own existence is! Look, folks, the Iraq War really hasn’t even STOPPED yet. And we’re making movies about an event that’s still going on?
Worse, the movie itself is so confused that, by the time I got to the end, I was baffled at how the movie could end. Admittedly, there’s a lot of action going on in Green Zone, but they actually managed to take a shot of two guys talking at a table and film it like they were shooting at each other. Exposition here is catch-as-catch-can and often done in the middle of firefights and explosions, as if saying to its target audience: “We know you have the attention span of goldfish so here’s a lot of explosions. Plot? Who cares? All you need to know is that Bush lied about Iraq and only progressive heroes like Matt Damon can tell you the truth!”.
Politics aside, this movie is a poorly-realized sludge heap with virtually no coherent plot framework to hold it together. This still-steaming pantload of a movie will baffle, confuse, and waste your ticket price like no tomorrow.
However, explosions and gunfire, as we’ve discovered from Michael Bay’s entire career, will at least entertain. So if you find yourself seeing this, chances are you won’t be too disappointed if you don’t look at it very closely.
Otherwise, you’ll realize how stupid this entire movie is, and agree with the Screenhead Ten Scale which hands Green Zone, this gelid lump of a film, a three out of ten for being simple and explosively happy.