Sunday, July 25, 2010

World Trade Center. C+

It almost doesn't feel right to criticize a movie that, without making any political statements, attempts to depict the courage of the people who were involved in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. But the truth is, Oliver Stone's movie, which surprisingly doesn't go after Bush or conservatives, is pretty weak, and technically and emotionally incomparable to the other 9/11 film, United 93. The standout problem I think with this 2 hour + drama is that it shows the courage and stamina of two police officers trapped under the debris of a fallen building. This is a true story, but unfortunately it's hard to really distinguish it as a 9/11 movie since these guys are immobile for most of the film. The first fifteen minutes or so are brilliant because they show the NYPD's reaction to the attack. But once the officers are trapped, the shock of the event sort of ends and the movie becomes a bit of a letdown. And then we get the usual scenes of the families of the cops who grow more and more emotional as the hours go by. And while I was happy that these families got to see their fathers/husbands again, I also couldn't help but think about all the other families that didn't. The two surviving officers are played by Nicolas Cage and Michael Pena, who both give good performances. But I actually felt that Cage was a distraction. When you have a serious event that's not even ten years old, you don't want a big Hollywood star in the lead. You want it to seem as real as possible. Still, World Trade Center is a reminder of just how terrible the attacks were and the end credits do offer a nice tribute to the fallen officers and firemen. But this is not the movie about the attack of the World Trade Center. That movie has yet to be made. In years to come, when more films about this event are made, I only see World Trade Center being looked upon as the first film depicting the attack, not the finest.

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