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Can Matt Damon live up to Jason Bourne in "Green Zone"?

Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass are together again but can they make it work in "Green Zone"?

By David GermainAssociated Press / March 11, 2010

Matt Damon poses during the photocall for his latest movie "Green Zone" by British director Paul Greengrass in Berlin on March 3.

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"Green Zone" — All the war-zone authenticity in the Arab world cannot salvage the silly Hollywood plot at the heart of Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass' first collaboration outside the Jason Bourne realm.

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Their thriller about the futile search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is a visual and visceral knockout utterly deflated by a story as unappetizing as Army field rations.

Damon's an Army guy hurled into a simple-minded conspiracy concocted by the filmmakers to explain why the WMD hunt keeps coming up empty.

The cast, including Greg Kinnear, Amy Ryan, Brendan Gleeson and Jason Isaacs, generally delivers serviceable performances in roles that do not call for much more.

As Damon's translator and tipster, Khalid Abdalla does capture a sense of Iraqis' conflicted emotions over the U.S. occupation.

For pure ambiance, the movie is a marvel. Greengrass, who directed Damon in "The Bourne Ultimatum" and "The Bourne Supremacy," applies a similar docudrama style to create a you-are-there sense of Bagdhad in chaos.

R for violence and language. Running time: 114 minutes. Two stars out of four.

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