Let’s just get this out of the way… ahem, Bourne in Iraq cough lol.
I write what I feel on this site, I wouldn’t even bother if I didn’t, so if you know me you’ll know my apprehension about Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon; even if both have done good work on their own, their most popular efforts have been far from their best and sue me if I call it out when great people pander to the crowd. But to my joy this is one of those rare movies that kinda had me at hello. I’m on something of a “calling bullshit” kick lately, goodness knows why, and after a strong opening with way over-the-top incidental score and less nauseating shaky-cam than usual from Paul Greengrass, comes a scene with Matt Damon’s simply calling such bullshit on the search for WMDs that basically made everything that followed fine by me.
The plot’s more complicated in the end than I’d dare to summarise, and I’m often not good with overcomplicated plots where they’re not needed, but it kinda didn’t matter to me here. I did lose interest and it did outstay its welcome, but I felt perfectly able to dip back into the aspect of the movie that initially hooked me quite easily. It’s one of Matt Damon’s more tolerable performances (and for the record I’d limit those previous of his that fully come into this category to the Kevin Smith stuff and The Talented Mr. Ripley) and being Paul Greengrass the tech side is flawless. It’s clearly no Hurt Locker and clearly doesn’t aspire to be. Some will say it oversimplifies what it’s trying to say about this war. I say, relative to most stuff gracing the multiplexes nowadays, at least it has something that needs to be simplified.