Evelyn GoughIn the Picture
World Trade Center
Directed by Oliver Stone
Were Marines! You are our mission! These are the words Sergeant John McLoughlin (Nicolas Cage) and officer Will Jimeno (Michael Pena) are literally dying to hear.
September the 11th 2001 had started like any other day for these two cops. The sun was shining, New York looked a picture and John McLoughlin and Will Jimeno were patrolling their regular beats. Then they get the call that would change their lives and the world forever. A plane has hit the World Trade Centre and volunteers are needed to evacuate the building, and like hundreds of other police and fireman, John and Will respond to the emergency.
But they hadnt even made it off the ground floor when the tower began to collapse. It was only the Sergeants order to run for the elevator shafts, the strongest part of the building, that saved the two mens lives. Unable to move and crushed by the concrete and metal that used to be the World Trade Centre, John and Will waited to be rescued. For 13 hours their families and wives, Donna McLoughlin (Maria Bello) and a pregnant Allison Jimeno (Maggie Gyllenhaal) didnt know if they would ever see them again...
Im not an Oliver Stone fan but I think he has done a terrific job with World Trade Center. Hes managed to hold back on the histrionics and deliver a restrained and powerful film which packs a punch without beating the all too familiar anti-terrorism drum. Instead it concentrates on the effect the day has on the two policemen, their families and their faith. And it gives a terrifying insight into what it must have felt like to be inside the buildings just before they collapsed. The most chilling thing? The sound of bodies as they hit pavements and roofs...
It also tells the remarkable story of Dave Karnes (Michael Shannon), the ex-marine who, like millions of others, watched the whole thing unfold on television and felt God was telling him to go to New York to search for survivors. He shaved his head, put on his uniform and refused to give up. Only 20 survivors were pulled from the rubble and thanks to Dave Karnes, John McLoughlin and Will Jimeno were numbers 18 and 19.
A lot of World Trade Center is dark and extremely claustrophobic but its never boring. Im a huge Nicolas Cage fan and hes great, as are the rest of the cast.
A terrible day but a great film.