September 11, 2001 is a moment that will forever live in infamy in American history. Nearly everyone that was old enough to remember the attacks remembers what they were doing when it happened and how it has affected them all these years later. So, as the news for this movie began circling I was immediately and anxiously awaiting the release. In fact, it was the most anticipated movie of my summer.
Oliver Stone rarely disappoints when it comes to epic movies. In the past, movies like Alexander and Natural Born Killers have struck a chord in many people and left their mark on society. World Trade Center is set to do the same thing.
While there have been complaints that this movie was made too soon, it was backed by the families and the men who were affected by this event the most. It was handled beautifully with plenty of emotion and a powerhouse cast of actors that knew just how to make you feel that you were in the middle of it all and that your life was as affected as theirs were.
Nicolas Cage heads up the cast playing John McLoughlin, the sergeant that led a small group of Port Authority police officers into the towers to help rescue people trapped there. Cage offers a glimpse of an emotional side, showing strength and fear with only his voice as we watch the events unfold with bated breath.
Michael Pena, while lesser known than Cage, is simply a scene-stealer. Pena beautifully portrays William Jimeno, one of the Port Authority officers, who is stuck with McLoughlin beneath a pile of rubble. Pena moved into the Jimeno house to prepare for the role and the studying definitely helped. His performance was filled with emotion, force, and desperation. It was everything necessary to bring the movie together perfectly.
Lead actresses Maria Bello and Maggie Gyllenhaal showed us how the wives of these men held on to memories when the lives of their husbands hung in the balance. We watched the turn of events in their minds and on their faces as life went from normal to unimaginable in a moment’s time.
A small bit part by Stephen Dorff also added to the strength of the movie. The horror of the events are as evident on his face as the tears in his eyes as he plays Scott Strauss, the man that came in and saved the lives of Jimeno and McLoughlin.
People might call this an attempt on Stone’s part to cause a stir, but they could not be more wrong. McLoughlin and Jimeno both have writing credits on the movie and their input heavily influenced the production. If you are looking for a touching, heart-wrenching story that could have been an action-flick but was unfortunately true, then this movie is for you.
If you see one movie this summer, see World Trade Center. It is well worth the time and tears you will spend watching it.