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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Caden Sierra
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Hey. My name is Caden and I'm from the Chicagoland area.  I'm currently going into my 3rd year at NMU.  I'm a multimedia production major with a double minor in journalism and criminal justice. For as...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

Confusing ‘Zone’ lacks substance

A great conspiracy film like “Chinatown” or “North by Northwest” can make you question what is capable within the realms of reality.  Since the war in Iraq began and conspiracy documentaries like “Zeitgeist” hit the Internet, it was only a matter of time until someone made a film about a corrupted government and its ability to manipulate the citizens of a nation.  “Green Zone” does exactly that.

In the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, Chief Officer Roy Miller (Damon) is in charge of hunting down weapons of mass destruction. After three missions that show no sign of WMDs, Miller begins to question the intel that has been given to him by the government’s secret source known as “Magellan.” With the help of CIA agent Martin Brown (Gleeson), Miller goes rogue in order to track down Iraqi General Al Rawi when he believes is “Magellan.” As Miller dives deeper into his search for “Magellan,” he must first outsmart corrupt government officials in order to find the WMDs.

The acting here is impacted greatly by the weak script. Damon is always a solid actor, but this is one of his weaker roles. His character is uninteresting, and Damon does nothing but yell obscenities and walk at a very fast pace for the majority of the film. Greg Kinnear plays a very weak villain. I never once felt any type of menacing quality that would make him any different than most generic bad guys. Amy Ryan plays the only female lead, but her screen time is far too limited to make an impact in the film. Brendan Gleeson is the most impressive actor in “Zone,” but his role is far too small. The supporting cast is weak, and that lack of support makes the lead actors look a lot worse than they should have.

The plot is more confusing than it needs to be. “Zone” attempts to run at a break neck pace in some sections of story development, and it makes some points almost unbearable.  The reasoning seems to be lost in all the mayhem that occurs on screen, but when the film hits moments of action it shines. The opening sequence of Baghdad being destroyed is done perfectly, and the last action scene is very entertaining.

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Director Paul Greengrass does not live up to his potential in this film. The last two “Bourne” movies were great, but this film felt stale, and I can safely say Matt Damon was a bad choice for this film. His “Bourne” movies succeeded where “Green Zone” failed, by using a fast pace, but still having a solid flowing pace. The confusing fast-paced conspiracy aspect falls flat on its face, and the weak finale has been done in numerous other films. Also, the overuse of ambient noise in this film is unforgivable. There are numerous parts that I could not hear one word of dialogue due to loud background noises.

The score by John Powell is solid. The constant buildup of army-like beats gives this film much more tension, and the action scenes are aided by the great techno inspired sounds. The sound effects are outstanding, and they make you feel like you are very close to the action. The cinematography by Barry Ackroyd is a mixed bag. While I enjoy how the film uses numerous great shots of a war-torn Baghdad, I did not appreciate how fast the camera moved during numerous scenes. The constant cuts made me lose my place in the action, and in scenes of dialogue there is no need to constantly switch camera angles to the point where I worry about having an epileptic seizure.

Overall, this is just another modern war movie that does nothing special. I am not saying “Green Zone” does not contain some solid moments, because it certainly does, but it shoots itself in the foot with an underwhelming story. “Zone” is worth a rental, but don’t expect anything special.

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