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  Publicity Stills of "World Trade Centre"
(Courtesy from UIP)

Genre: Drama
Director: Oliver Stone
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Michael Peña, Maria Bello, Maggie Gyllenhaal
RunTime: 2 hrs 9 mins
Released By: UIP
Rating: PG

Official Website: www.wtcmovie.com

Soundtrack: ACCESS "WORLD TRADE CENTER" Soundtrack Review

Release Date: 5 October 2006

Synopsis :

Academy Award®-winning director Oliver Stone tells the true story of the heroic survival and rescue of two Port Authority policemen – John McLoughlin and Will Jimeno – who were trapped in the rubble of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, after they went in to help people escape. The film also follows their families as they try to find out what happened to them in the debris field. Their story shows how the best in people rose above the tragic events of that day.

Movie Review:

The movie opens without much fanfare, as if to accentuate a moment of silence to the victims of that dark day in modern history. In events like these which reverberate throughout the world, it's hardly any surprise that almost everyone would remember what they were doing when they heard the news for the first time.

If you're thinking that this movie glorifies those intense bewildering moments when the planes hit the Towers, then you'll probably be surprised that the film rarely regurgitates in verbatim the images that the world saw through news networks as the event unfolded. There is no recreation beyond what is deemed necessary to further the plot, nor is there a need to showcase the latest of what technology can do to turn this into a special effects extravaganza. Subtleness is key here, and there are plenty of what you don't see explicitly, but are able to hear, feel, or just

World Trade Center takes a very microscopic look at the ordeal of Port Authority police officers John McLoughlin (Nicolas Cage) and Will Jimeno (Michael Pena) during September 11. This true life story recounts how these 2 men fought to stay alive, as well as alternating the spotlight on their wives and family members as they react to the news of their missing status. Truth be told, this movie could have been titled anything else but "World Trade Center", and would still work, if not just to capitalize on the name.

Running concurrently is a small subplot of the US Marine who first discovered the survivors, Dave Karnes (Michael Shannon), about his detests and pronouncement that America is at war, but surprise, director Oliver Stone didn't spice the movie up with any suggested conspiracy theories. In fact, this is probably one of his most vanilla plain works, given known controversies over his past films, especially the recent Alexander.

Nicolas Cage's previous movies in The Weather Man and Lord of War didn't make it to the theatres here, but World Trade Center is understandably difficult to pass. While his acting range is severely limited to having more than 1/2 the screen time spent being trapped in a confined space, what worked is the first portion where you can actually feel his fear and confusion of facing an emergency of such scale, yet having to show courage in leading his men, as if he knows just exactly what he's doing. This sense of being totally perplexed and the bombardment of sketchy details and rumours, is captured very much convincingly by the supporting cast who have roles as the first responders.

But leave it to the ladies to trump the family drama angle, with Maria Bello and Maggie Gyllenhaal as the wives of McLoughlin and Jimeno respectively, as we experience how the home front coped with anticipation of dire news. Having their moods swing from one end to another, from glimmers of optimism to moments of despair, pretty much sums up the emotional range required.

It's extremely difficult to judge a movie based on a recent tragic event. There'll probably be two camps split when watching this movie - one that feels totally detached emotionally, because of how one knows about the outcome, and the other camp who are within the degrees of separation, or one who totally buys into the themes of hope and courage as personified

ovie Rating:

(Frills-free and gimmick-free, World Trade Center brings about an adequately decent look into the infamous tragedy)

Review by Stefan Shih

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