World Trade Center

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World Trade Center
Review (8.5/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

On September 11, 2001, 2602 people were murdered in New York City when two planes hit the World Trade Center towers. Of the dead, 343 were New York City firefighters, 23 were police officers and 37 were Port Authority officers. Despite the terrible tragedy of September 11th, there were miracles that emerged from the catastrophe.

Oliver Stone's World Trade Center tells us of some of these miracles. It tells us the story of two Port Authority officers, Will Jimeno (Michael Pena) and John McLoughlin (Nicolas Cage) who, along with hundreds of other Port Authority officers, police officers and firemen, walked into the World Trade Center towers to try to save lives, regardless of the fact that the buildings were burning and regardless of the danger of the situation. Once the buildings collapsed, Jimeno and McLoughlin became trapped under the rubble and twisted metal, twenty feet below the surface. They were buried for several hours (Jimeno for 12 hours and McLoughlin for 22 hours) and despite the fact that they could not see each other, they could hear each other. They talked and kept each other alive until they were rescued. McLoughlin was in a medically-induced coma for six weeks, had to undergo 30 surgeries and took months to recover and Jimeno was hospitalized for three months and suffered permanent injuries to his leg. But they lived and World Trade Center tells us of this miracle and bravery. It tells us how hundreds of courageous men and women walked into the buildings despite the fact that they didn't know what dangers lay ahead. It shows us how the families of the two men dealt with the heartbreak of not knowing the fate of their husbands, their fathers and their sons. It tells us of an ex-Marine from Connecticut, David Karnes, who made his way to New York City following the attacks and through sheer determination, managed to search the smouldering rubble and locate the two officers. It tells us about the rescuers who risked their own lives, knowing the situation was dangerous and still managed to get these two men out of the rubble. And it tells us the story of how a city, a country, a nation and most of the world rallied around this tragic event and reminded us that good people do, in fact, live on this planet.

World Trade Center is not a political movie. There is not a hidden agenda behind this movie. There are no conspiracy theories. There is no mention of Al-Queda, Osama Bin Laden, George Bush or the Middle East. Some may find that hard to believe, especially with the name Oliver Stone attached to it but it's true. There is a scene that some may consider controversial where one of the trapped men sees an image of Jesus but apparently that was an actual vision he experienced. It seems that Stone stuck to the facts in this one and isn't trying to create a hot potato.

Although World Trade Center is difficult to watch at times and probably will be difficult for people who do not want to relive the 9/11 events, it is an uplifting movie. As I said earlier, it is a movie that reminds us that there are good people in the world. With all the terrorist activities, Middle East fighting, nuclear threats, natural disasters, and everything else going on in the world, this is not always something we remember. Perhaps if World Trade Center was just your average, run-of-the-mill movie, it wouldn't be as interesting or uplifting but the fact that it is based on a true story and it sticks to the facts, makes it a great piece of work. It is unlike the September 11th movie, United 93, that came out earlier in the year. You don't watch United 93 and feel happy at the end of the movie. You will have a smile on your face after watching WTC. There is sadness when you are reminded of the thousands of innocent people who lost their lives but seeing the miracle of Will Jimeno and John McLoughlin and seeing the real men on the screen at the end of the movie and knowing that good people do exist in this world of ours, well, what more can you ask for from a movie? In the last couple of months, I have seen a movie where a man had sex with a donkey, another where Will Ferrell ran around the screen in his tight white underwear and yet another where Colin Farrell tried unsuccessfully to convince me that he was the great James "Sonny" Crockett. And now comes World Trade Center. This movie is a definite breath of fresh air and an uplifting theatrical experience.

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