When it comes to watching Universal's "Green Zone," Brian Siefkes is not a disinterested observer.
Siefkes served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and was a member of the Army's Mobile Exploitation Team Bravo, which carried out the hunt in Iraq for the highly touted (but ultimately nonexistent) weapons of mass destruction -- the heart of the "Green Zone" plot.
What's more, Siefkes appears as an actor in "Green Zone," playing Keating, the right-hand adviser to Matt Damon's U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller.
In the film's press kit, Siefkes is quoted praising the film's accuracy. "What you see us doing in this film is an accurate representation of what we did over there," he said in the film's publicity materials. "It's what we experienced."
Now, having seen the finished movie, Siefkes has a more complicated appraisal of how his part in the movie came together, some of the disputes surrounding its production, and how much creative license director Paul Greengrass and screenwriter Brian Helgeland took in bringing the story to the screen. It's not the only recent war movie whose accuracy has been debated--similar conversations were held around "The Hurt Locker."
Although the film received largely enthusiastic reviews (including nice notices from Times critic Kenneth Turan and Chicago Sun-Times reviewer Roger Ebert), "Green Zone" flopped at the box office, putting one more stake in the Middle East conflict movie coffin. There are many theories about why audiences stayed away, as the $100-million "Green Zone" only has grossed $30.8 million in its first 17 days of release, just slightly more than what Greengrass' previous film, "The Bourne Ultimatum," grossed in its first day.
24 Frames asked Siefkes for his thoughts about the film, and here's what he has to say: