The recently released movie “World Trade Center” centers on the lives of two New York policemen trapped in the rubble of the Trade Center on 9/11, thus it is a true story. The acting is generally good, especially that of Mario Bello, who demonstrates both anger and fear in a powerfully done real life portrayal. And Oliver Stone avoids both sensationalism and crass ideological nonsense, so often present in his “big” movies like JFK and Nixon.
Though the movie feels like it unfolds in a bit of a vacuum, focusing almost entirely on the trials of two families whose loved ones survived, it delivers a powerful image of a fateful day in world history. (Only 20 people were rescued from the Trade Center rubble!) The fact, however, is that this approach works precisely because no movie could carry the whole story of 9/11 in a powerful way.
The question many ask is “Why a movie on 9/11 so soon after the event?” The same question was asked when “Flight 93” came out a few months ago. Having seen both of these films I have to say that they provided a powerful context for both my emotions and thought process. Neither movie engaged in cheap political comment. Both remind us that terrorism is a very real problem. They also remind us that when faced with incredible pain and difficulty people can, and often do, respond in wonderful ways, proving that both evil and human goodness do exist side-by-side. I would give “World Trade Center” three stars on a scale of five. It was a movie that was well worth my time. I recommend it for adults who can handle the crushing and searing pain of that day of infamy on the big screen. The film also reminded me acutely of the reality of our enemy in this new war. For the life of me I cannot understand how some people can divorce our enemy from the facts of the story presented by movies like "Flight 93" and “World Trade Center.”
Can we survive more intense reflection on 9/11? We can and we must if we would understand the world that we now live it. World Trade Center can actually help us if we are open to processing the pain this event still brings.