Wednesday, September 06, 2006

World Trade Center : I Can't Believe Hollywood Produced It

News flash: I went to a movie and liked it.

Hollywood. Oliver Stone. I went in on alert (level orange?) for snooty elitist cinema.

False alarm. Straight-ahead narrative of two port authority cops who were beginning a rescue when the first building collapsed, trapping them in the rubble.

What little political commentary there was struck me as populist -- which is to say that patriotism and religious faith were presented in a positive light.

Citizens in other nations are shown lamenting and condemning the attack. Wisconsin cops come to New York to help after what "those bastards" did.

An ex-Marine watches the 9/11 spectacle unfold and declares that America is at war. He is presented favorably as he dons his Marine uniform and travels to Ground Zero to search the rubble for survivors. He's the one who finds the two feature characters. He is allowed to say that he doesn't know if he will return to his regular job because it will take a lot of people "to avenge this." We learn in the credits that he did two tours in Iraq.

The trapped cops say the Our Father when another load of debris comes crashing down (presumable the second tower going down) and threatens to finish them off. They are screaming the final words as the avalanche reaches a crescendo.

The mother of one of the cops is shown on her knees tearfully saying the rosary. During his ordeal, that cop has a vision of Jesus -- His sacred heart appears to have a dagger running through it -- offering a water bottle.

The other cop is near death and has a vision of his wife. They talk candidly about their long but apparently somewhat stagnant marriage, and she tells him to come home because she and the children need him.

A couple of tough, regular, at least somewhat religious family men find the will to live by drawing on faith, family, and their fierce dedication to each other as fellow cops. Several other rescue personnel exhibit gritty heroism as challenges confront them. It was a populist recipe for real American heroes. I loved it.

One thing I don't understand is the fuss about whether such movies should be made. I want a steady of diet of "World Trade Center," "United 93," and anything that will remind us of what happened and what we're up against.

The ex-Marine character was right. War has been declared on us. Next I want a movie that shows the chaos and devastation and suffering on 9/11 -- and juxtaposes that with people dancing and cheering in Arab countries.

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