August 9, 2006
United States (English)
Directed by Oliver Stone
Written by Andrea Berloff
The scope and scale of World Trade Center is ambitious enough to cover one of America's greatest tragedies. Even though it often feels like Hallmark Channel fodder it is still capable of moving many who see it.
In World Trade Center we follow two Port Authority Police officers, John McLoughlin and Will Jimeno (played by Nicolas Cage and Michael Peña) on the day of September 11th, 2001. They are just as shocked as the rest of us were when the planes strike the towers, but they actually risk their lives to save those inside. After the towers collapse they are stuck inside while their wives (Maria Bello and Maggie Gyllenhaal) fear the worst back at home.
World Trade Center plays things very safe, so careful as to not shed any victims in a disapproving light. It brews sentimentality with the story of sacrifice and survival, begging us to feel for it characters. The scene where Jimeno's wife goes to the hospital and sees the wall of pictures, other also looking for loved ones, is timelessly effecting. Most surprising is that this product comes from Oliver Stone, a filmmaker who is no stranger to controversial and conspiring subject matter in his historical canon. I still await the "quintessential" 9/11 film (though United 93 certainly did its part) that the event deserves, but in the meantime World Trade Center does it service in a heartfelt way.
CONTENT: intense moments of great peril, some language