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When a plane hits the World Trade Center on Septer 11, 2001, port authority police, firement, city police all converge towards the buildings to support evacuation. In the middle of the rescue, the building collapses, trapping Nicholas Cage and a colleague under the rubble. Badly injured, they survive buried under dozens of meters of debris, and wait for rescue.

The only word for Oliver Stone’s films I have these days is “solid”. The intensive particularity of the first five or so movies (even though even Platoon or The Hand are not the kind of cinema I would call intelligent or subtle) disappeared under a pile of message, later ambition and size. And today it is no more than … solid. WTC bounces between the expected and the not very interesting. While half of the story is not just completely known, but actually documented in film in exactly the same way as reproduced here, the other half (the two men trapped under an incredible amount of steel and concrete) not very thrilling. It is a desperate situation, all right, but it does not lend to drama – one of these things about real life, it never follows the three-act structure a Hollywood drama is asking for.

Nicolas Cage and his counterpart play solidly, as well, but on the other hand, they are buried in dirt and blood for two thirds of the movie, so not much room for subtlety, either. Ah well, one of these films that are trapped in reality and never make it into artful entertainment.

One Comment

  1. Very nice to listen to Slate’s Spoiler Special Podcasts – the review after watching the film: http://media.slate.com/podcast/Slate_Spoiler_WTC.mp3


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