Let’s get this out of the way quickly. Yes this is Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass, but it’s not the Bourne Identity. Not close.
One similarity the two films share is the shaky cam stylings. It’s everywhere, even more so than the Bourne films. Thankfully this doesn’t bother me at all but I know a couple of people who have issues with motion sickness and I’m pretty sure this would have triggered it rather quickly.
From a factual point of view the rest of the film is quite interesting. I didn’t read up on it before watching so didn’t realise it was based upon real life events.
Unfortunately the real world setting means that Jason… I mean Matt, has lost his ninja skills and has to rely more on his luck, but this does add to the realism.
Considering the subject this is a surprisingly negative look at the Iraq war and the hunt for weapons of mass destruction. The problem was I don’t know enough about the real history of this to know if it is sensationalism or playing it straight. A quick read on Wikipedia tells me that over the course of the war Paul Greengrass had an increasingly negative view of the war and the film has received political criticism so I think it must have been coloured at least a little by his personal viewpoint.
Unfortunately I didn’t feel much tension or sense of drama. It all felt a bit pedestrian – even with the constant shaky (realistic?) camera work. The story does whip along at a decent pace, but I never felt like Matt was in any trouble.
Because of the Damon & Greengrass pairing I had been looking forward to seeing this for a while. Whilst it wasn’t a bad film, it wasn’t the best either of them have done. In terms of story it was really interesting, if slightly unbalanced, but the pacing left something to be desired. If you have an interest in the war, or war films then I would definitely recommend checking this out, although I’d probably suggest a rental rather than a purchase.