Set in the aftermath of the tragic attack on New Yorks Twin Towers, World Trade Center
is a carefully constructed, respectful and dignified tribute the acts of heroism on that terrible day. It follows the real-life story of John McLoughlin and William J Jimeno, two Port Authority officers trapped amidst the rubble and chaos of September 11th. The film spends time with them, those trying to rescue them and their families, as their story hauntingly unfolds, and what emerges is a focused, human story, compellingly told.
Surprisingly, World Trade Centers director is Oliver Stone, whose back catalogue is a mixture of provocative, controversial and challenging films. Here, he wisely pulls back, choosing to let the story unfold with little intervention. His direction is clever and underplayed, which serves to enhance the feeling of claustrophobia and emotion. Its Stones best film in some time, even if it rarely feels like hes the man behind the camera.
Hes helped by some fine turns from his cast, led by Nicolas Cage and Maria Bello, and while theres an argument that the screenplay could use a little pruning, World Trade Center is nonetheless a strong piece of work. True, Paul Greengrass stunning, devastating United 93 is a superior film, but in this case, thats beside the point. Because World Trade Center is still an important, well made film in its own right, and one that deserves, and perhaps needs, to be seen.--Simon Brew
World Trade Center [DVD] [DVD] (2007) Maria Bello; Connor Paolo; Morgan Flynn