A psychological study of operations desert shield and desert storm during the gulf war; through the eyes of a U.S marine sniper who struggles to cope with the possibility his girlfriend may be cheating on him back home.
Following the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller and his men are charged with finding the so-called weapons of mass destruction, whose existence justified American involvement, according to the Pentagon and their man in Baghdad, Poundstone. Veteran CIA operative Marty tells Miller that there are no weapons, it is a deception to allow the Americans to take over the country and install a puppet leader. Also suspicious of Poundstone is Wall Street Journal reporter Lawrie Dayne, who lets slip to Miller that Poundstone told her he had secret talks in Jordan with an important Iraqi, code-named Magellan, who told him about the weapons, though it now seems likely Magellan's true information was to the contrary. So begins a hunt for the truth. Who's playing whom? Written by
don @ minifie-1
Many of the soldiers in Matt Damon's WMD unit were actual Iraq War and Afghanistan War veterans, not actors. Damon said his biggest challenge was knowing he was an actor who was giving orders to actual soldiers. See more »
When Chief Miller and his MET team are about to raid the first site for WMDs they are seen wearing a DCU uniform (BDU styled uniform featuring 3-color desert camouflage pattern AKA 'coffee-stains pattern') just before they enter the building. Once inside the building, Miller and his team are all wearing Woodland Camouflage BDU uniform. When they come outside, they're again seen wearing DCU uniform. (This is not a continuity error. The team puts on MOPP/JLIST chemical warfare suits to sweep the building. At the time, these suits were generally only commonly available in woodland camouflage.) See more »
I saw trailers for this movie on t.v (in Australia)...it seemed to be an action hero type movie...I actually wondered if this was the new "Bourne" movie for Matt Damon! Perhaps this promotional approach was due to a recent run of movies critical of the US in the current Iraq war being box-office misses. Anyway, I was prepared to watch the movie based on the trailers, but had second thoughts when the nature of the movie was mentioned on a movie review show on TV here in Australia. That nature concerned the movie venturing into the rationale of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.
So, taking a punt, I saw the movie armed with this new information. It's actually good...not depressing like movies with this type of theme can be. Not sure how much reality there is to it...it seems to cover the bases on the reasons given as to why the US invaded Iraq and the underlying reality on the ground.
What's particularly interesting is how the Pentagon and the C.I.A. are depicted. No doubt there are numerous American movies where both organisations are depicted as suspect or evil. Here, one organisation comes off as acting in good faith and acting morally. Don't know enough about the war to say for certain if any US organisation can claim to have acted ethically, but this dichotomy is illuminating for the factoids it throws at the audience.
If the movie does have a lot factual truth to it, then some of the events in it are truly disturbing...e.g. how the U.S. deals with people who may be able to disprove the official government line on the reasons for the war. Maybe this is just artistic license, or perhaps it's real politic as far as the U.S. goes...and anyone who has read Noam Chomsky knows that the U.S. goes all the way.
I'm reminded of General Colin Powell's hand-on-the-heart moment in the U.N. where he showed satellite photos of vehicles and swore that these were mobile weapons of mass destruction delivery vehicles. Turns out that they were milk trucks...like the Iraqis said they were. It's this 'evidence' which convinced a reluctant U.N. to take the US' assertions as true and to authorise the invasion of Iraq. This movie's trailer is like General Colin Powell's moment of infamy...the trailer bears no relation to what you actually see. But it's more compelling than what the general's photo turned out to be.
Matt Damon (as Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller) makes for a good lantern-jaw type hero...if such a figure actually exists, you'd think they would have have been run out of the ranks for not towing the official line. Anyway, the movie is about Miller's role in finding those elusive weapons of mass destruction that President Bush assured us were there. When he doesn't have much luck finding them, he wants to find out why...
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