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Green Zone: History for dummies

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The popular notion that goldfish only have a memory span of roughly three seconds has long been denounced by many as a myth, but that length of time sounds about right for the significant portion of the American population that hides under the bed fretting over fictional "death panels" while conveniently forgetting the roots of the Middle Eastern bloodbath that clearly branded George W. Bush and cronies as war criminals, a scarlet letter that will remain firmly in place until End of Days. To these folks, I present Green Zone, which comes across like a Young Readers version of the comprehensive and compelling Iraq war documentary No End In Sight.

Unfortunately, these folks are unlikely to expose themselves to anything that doesn't get the Glenn Beck Seal of Approval, meaning that we're left with yet another product that will only preach to the choir. But there's nothing here that will surprise anyone who's been paying the least bit of attention. Set in 2003, this stars Matt Damon as conscientious Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller, who eventually realizes that there are no WMDs in Iraq -- that the whole war is based on a lie -- and does his best to expose the truth.

Damon's intensity and Brian Helgeland's incident-packed script compensate for Paul Greengrass' panicky direction -- the action-jammed finale is especially messy, with no clarity of character or situation -- but the whole enterprise is rather simplistic in its fact-finding. Green Zone basically plays like Iraq War for Dummies -- not that such a manual isn't needed, mind you.

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