"The reasons for going to war always matter....."
That line is spoken by Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller (Matt Damon) towards the end of the film, but it's the theme of the movie. Miller and his team of Army specialists are in Iraq (it's 2003) and are looking for the elusive WMD's. They go from sight to sight, risking their lives in very hostile situations but always come up empty. The intelligence they are given isn't accurate. Miller begins to question why and begins to doubt their existence. So as a soldier in the middle of a foreign land, how far would you go to find out the answers? Is it a conspiracy? Miller needs to know what's going on and he will stop at nothing to find the answers.
The other main characters are U.S. intelligence agent Clark Poundstone (Greg Kinnear). Poundstone is busy selling the press that WMD's are out there and he's had meetings with a high ranking Iraqi who confims it. He also has a Special Forces unit working for him to advance his agenda. He and Miller don't see eye to eye.
Martin Brown (Brendan Gleeson) is with the CIA and he's trying to find out the truth about WMD's, just like Miller. The two team up on their hunt for the truth. The CIA has been cut out of the loop and they have gone "underground" as an organization because Poundstone refuses to work with them. But why is that?
The movie is full of conspiracy theories and cover-ups. The whole point is that the U.S. lied to the American public about the existence of WMD's and now the war has escalated and it's to late to come clean with the truth. The reason for going to war is false. So why did we? Why can't we just come clean and admit we were wrong? If we don't tell the truth now, will other countries ever believe us again?
Keep in mind, this movie is not presented as FACT, it's clearly FICTION. I know that their will be many people who will hate the movie just because it raises questions as to why we invaded Iraq. Others will love it for the same reason. But it's not based on real characters or real events. If you watch it, view it for what it is, a very good thriller with plenty of action and intense situations.
There are scenes that are extremely intense. Miller and his team are traveling by vehicle through the streets of Iraq an come across a large group of Iraqi citizens who seem like they are ready to riot. They surround Miller's team and you know that at any moment this situation could turn ugly in a hurry. I had a knot in my gut that whole scene.
There are also parts that are predictable and a bit over the top dramatically. From the opening scene you pretty much know what the theme of the movie is. It's no mystery unless you really aren't paying attention. But during a scene at the end between Poundstone and Miller, the writer and director, Paul Greengrass (two of the "Bourne" movies) felt it was necessary to use dialogue that came across very cheesey to hammer home the point. I actually laughed during the scene and it's not a comedy. Also, some of the choppy camera work almost made me dizzy.
Is the movie perfect? No. Is it a good action movie? Oh yeah. I was wrapped up in it from start to finish. If you want a thriller with plenty of action, check it out.