Saturday, August 12, 2006

Honoring Heroes

WORLD TRADE CENTER is a tribute to ordinary people who became extraordinary heroes after aircraft crashed into the Twin Towers in New York City on September 11, 2001. It tells the true story of Port Authority policemen John McLaughlin, played by Nicolas Cage, and Will Jimeno, portrayed by Michael Pena, who were two of the men entering the Trade Center, hoping to help with the evacuation of as many as possible on that fateful day.

Almost immediately these two become trapped and find themselves immobile. Although not being able to see each other, they can talk. And talk they do, simply to keep each other alive. Meanwhile, their families are devastated and can do nothing but wait for news of their loved ones. Miraculously, through efforts led by Dave Karnes, a former U. S. marine played by Michael Shannon, the two men are rescued.

This Oliver Stone movie reminds us that out of a tragic event in which thousands lost their lives, many good people banded together to take care of one another. I found the rescue sequences in the film extremely involving, but I am disappointed that more time was not devoted to the rescue instead of adding so many scenes filled with manipulative sentimentality. An emphasis on sentimentality is unnecessary here, for there are too many emotional wounds not yet healed as a result of that terrible tragedy. Nevertheless, I admire filmmaker Stone for creating this poignant cinematic tribute to the many people who became heroes on September 11th.


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