Welp, I’ve officially started my film countdown to the 15 year 9/11 anniversary, which just so happens to be the 10 year anniversary of this film, and of 2 other significant 9/11 films. 2006 was quite a year.
I was hesitant to watch this film at first because I heard it was boring, with most of it just taking place under the rubble with some guys pinned down and moping about their life and how they want to live through this to see their family again, blah blah blah. Honestly, that’s not what happens throughout most of the film, though I do believe it could’ve been trimmed down a little more.
So the film starts with Cage waking up as a policeman and going to work at about 3 in the morning. We are introduced to him and a few other of New York’s finest before the first plane hits one of the World Trade Center towers. They eventually scramble, and take a bus over there to help with evacuations. It’s during this time that I found the film interesting. Being in the shoes of these policeman, seeing them around other rescue teams, talking about what they’re going to do and how they’re going to do it, and the small talk about the incident. It’s easy to forget that at the time a lot of people didn’t know what was going on. So the dialogue is great in that regard, them mentioning how they think some moron accidentally crashed a plane into the tower, hearing rumors about a second plane hit but brushing it off as someone confusing the smoke pouring out of the first tower to indicate the second tower was on fire, a missile or something hitting the pentagon, World War III about to start, etc. It perfectly encapsulates the chaos and confusion and lack of perfect information that happens during a time of crisis such as this.
Then about 25 minutes in, the first tower collapses and pins the team within the rubble. Aside from some tense incidents of further rumbling, more debris falling in, a pistol going off several times due to the heat, fireballs blasting through the rubble due to sudden emergence of wind tunnels, not much else happens afterwards. There’s the usual life moping, but the film also covers the family members wondering if they are still alive, policeman trying to get things under control, and a couple marines going into the rubble leading the first attempt to locate survivors.
It wasn’t the slowed pace that bothered me for the last half of the movie, it’s the emotion. This emotionally traumatized teenage boy acting like a dick, the crying families, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I know people reacted that way and it was a traumatic experience for them and all, but it doesn’t make scenes like that any less irritating for me. So it loses points for that. It loses extra points for having that grandad from The Visit and not having him shit in a diaper and rub it in that dipshit kid’s face.
And the film makes sure it hammers in the message during the closing moments. “Yeah, bad shit happened on that day, but good shit happened too, people uniting to help others. Yayyy.”
Overall, the film isn’t bad, it’s just not that great.
PS: Sorry for the excessive amount of gif to paragraphs ratio. Just needed something Cage related to lift the mood, and the annoyance, and some of the boredom.