Monday, May 01, 2006

United 93

Rating: B

This is a tough film. There are some that feel that it's too soon for Hollywood to be sticking it's nose into the events of September 11th and just reject this movie and not see it. Others counting myself, are curious of how the folks in Tinsletown handle such a touchy subject. The theater was full, and for the most part, everyone was quiet and expecting the worst.

It sounds funny, but I don't think I feel the was I am supposed to feel after seeing this movie. I wasn't that sad, or hurt, or angry, or pretty much anything. Maybe it was too soon, or perhaps I'm numb to all of it, or maybe the movie just didn't touch me like it should have.

As we all know, United 93 is the one plane on 9/11 that didn't make it to it's target after the passengers rose up and tried to take back the plane causing the terrorists to ditch it into a field in Pennsylvania. The majority of the movie sets up the uprising. Shots of Americans going about thier daily lives is intercut with the final preparations of the Muslim terrorists. Once the events start rolling, you really get a sense of the confusion of that day. Rapid cuts among the different air traffic controllers and the military demonstrate very well just how little of a handle we actually had on the situation. They do use reall footage of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Making money off of real pain and suffering is not my forte, but who didn't enjoy Saving Private Ryan?

Moving to the title flight, the passengers expericence the hijacking, and then they start the process of calling thier families to learn the horrible truth, they aren't coming home. A plan is made, and the attack is on. The movie was based on the last phone calls and the black box of the plane. Some of course is improved, but all is not too bad. The uprising is right near the end and is very brutal.

Overall, it's not a bad movie, just didn't rip my guts out like I expected. This is probably a bad comparison, but I didn't feel the same way about this movie as I did about Star Wars III. Let me explain. In Star Wars, we all know that Anakin is going to be Darth Vader, and yet, when he goes bad, it kicks you in the gut, but you hold out just a little hope that he'll see the light and change his mind. In United 93, I never had that sensation about the passengers that they just might make it to the cockpit and fly home. Maybe it was because it was a real story, not science fiction fantasy, who knows. Perhaps we all need to get into that fantasy when we go to the movies and get lost in another world.


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