“World Trade Center” a Sad Sign of the Times


If, like me, you saw Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center over the weekend, you’d probably find it hard to believe that the same guy who wrote Salvador and directed Natural Born Killers could even be capable of making such a mediocre film. Chalk it up to these scary times we live in, I guess…

Most of the reviews out there have been glowingly positive, but I suspect that’s more than anything a safety against angry readers who would confuse a bad review of the film with some kind of dismissal of the actual event.

Here’s the truth: WTC is first a mere dramatization of far more compelling documentary footage from inside Tower One, then an only slightly higher stakes version of My Dinner with André, then some really bad schmaltz on par with the retchid M.O.W. about doomed United Flight 93, then finally a feel-good happy ending teaching us that in adversity humans actually help each other… Well, I should certainly hope so!

Oh sorry, did I spoil the ending for you? You probably won’t want to read any further then…

Any film school professor will tell you that if you render your two main characters immobile underneath a pile of rubble then you’d better have some pretty compelling dialogue between them. This movie didn’t. And instead of putting the audience in the middle of the action and showing them the horror of being buried alive we inexplicably cut to the subs, where the victims’ families are at each other’s throats about petty, stupid things. I didn’t feel a lick of compassion for any of them.

I wish now more than ever I made time to see the theatrical feature about Flight 93 while it was still playing… Maybe I was fearful that it would have been just as bad—or worse, just as safe.

By Andrew

Mobile phones, Linux and copyright reform. Those go together, right?

1 comment

  1. AC:
    I saw the movie this weekend, too, and I thought it was a rather mainstream melodrama from Stone. They played it safe in every aspect, I guess, to avoid offending anyone, but (SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT) the figure of Christ appears, I thought, for a moment, I was about to see a Monty Pythonesque interstitial. but, alas, it went back to staying true to the facts, I guess. I saw Flight 93, and nobody does docu-drama better than Paul Greengrass. I had seen Omagh and Bloody Sunday a few weeks prior, and he has a gift of showing people in intense situations by avoiding cliche and hero worship. If you get a chance to see any of his movies, be prepared for the most intense, gut-wrenching movies you’ll ever see…


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