It is opening day for the anticipated Oliver Stone film World Trade Center. I had not seen any of the others, but decided to go see this one. Visually the music was good.
It opens with role call on Sept 11, 2001 at the Port Authority police department. Then the movie really details the bad information they were working on when the officers were called from their main duties to help with the rescue at Towers. Stone makes the point that they thought it was a commuter plane, did not tell the officers that a second plane had hit, and that the wives were given the wrong information several times.
The main character, John McLoughlin, played by Nicolas Cage was called because of his evactuation experience in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. His subsordinate, Will Jimeno, played by Michael Pena, has volunteered to join him in the evacuation.
The trouble comes when the building implodes upon McLoughlin and his team. As the men awaken from being knocked out there is a role call done, and McLoughlin finds that he has lost the majority of his team. For over an hour we watch as these men try to keep each other alive by talking. They are plagued by spontaneous fires, a gun emptying itself, and lack of water.
Stone keeps the movie goer in the dark, literally, for over 60 minutes, as the men hope they will be found.
A mysterious man who was a former Marine travels to New York. He is the principle person that searches areas that the others have vacated. I won’t ruin the whole plot.
Although the premise was good, what I saw was a movie that did not exactly connect with the heart. I am sorry, but the Will Jimeno character seemed far more cowardly than heroic to me. He did have a couple of moments, but in the beginning of the movie he just did not potray a person that I would dig for hours to save. Okay, the word annoying best suits him. I will keep in mind that he was in bad shape, but I found myself far more sympathetic to the McLoughlin character.
There were the family dynamics plugged in, and it seemed like Stone was following the formula of the movie Ladder 49, which worked for that movie, but not for this one. We honesty did not get to know the men before they were really in trouble. I think this movie needed that kind of thing.
This movie is based on the true story of McLoughlin and Jimeno, but aside from the 9/11 connection, this was more a movie of the week then a blockbuser.
I think if I gave this movie a grade it would be a “B-.”