There is controversy about how the film handles torture. It’s not as simple as 24’s pro-torture stance. The characters in Zero Dark Thirty certainly don’t enjoy torturing prisoners. But they do think it’s useful, and in the movie it is repeatedly shown to get useful intel. This is (apparently) factually incorrect. But even if we go with the premise that torture is useful, I find it unpleasant that the movie doesn’t pause to ask if it is moral.
There’s also a strange “faith” the main character has that she’s found Osama. (This must be a trope but I’m damned if I can find it.) Senior politicos and spooks don’t think she has enough evidence to warrant an attack, and as far as I can see they’re justified and not just being sexist or whatever. They even mention the WMDs affair as a cautionary tale. But we’re clearly meant to root for the plucky, confident upstart. It would be fine in most other movies, but it doesn’t sit well with me here. These are the type of people who decide whether someone should get bombed by a drone or not. Gut feelings aren’t good enough.
Overall, Zero Dark Thirty is a pretty mundane affair. The story and characters are blander than your average (if fictional) thriller. It doesn’t leverage its “true story” angle by giving us interesting facts or by deeply analyzing the people and motives behind the incident. It’s a bland retelling of a mostly bland intelligence effort. At least the compound raid at the end was alright.
I added a particle effects system. This is an early example of it. Pay little heed to the specifics of this example as that can easily be changed. I am more wondering if particles like this suit the style of the game? I shall have to have a think and consult with my teammates…