The M.O.W. - wrote on 08/03/08
We all know what happened that Tuesday morning now forever known as 9/11, and this movie tries to depict the events of that morning from the viewpoint of those on the ground working on that day.
When I first saw the commercials for this movie before its release, I suspected that this was going to be speculative on what happened on the plane with what is known from those on the plane who called families as the events were unfolding and the cockpit tapes. However, this movie mainly focuses on military and FAA responses as the hijackings and attacks happen.
The other planes which were taken over by hijackers are just referenced in this movie and a barely touched. We do see the results of the two planes which struck the towers of the World Trade Center in New York City through actual news footage provided by the Cable News Network (better known as CNN). Some people may have to turn away when those news clips are shown when watching this movie, especially when they cut to a clip, filmed on video unlike the rest of the movie which is on film.
A lot of the scenes which takes place on "United 93" were, for the most part, improvised by the actors on set. This pretty much helped out in trying to depict what was going on the flight that was not known. The actors who portrayed the victims on the plane, did a good job in their performances, but I can not say any of them stood out in my opinion.
I also felt that those playing the terrorists were not depicted or portrayed well. Personally, I would have liked to have seen them interact with the rest of the cast they were working with a bit more. Yes, I understand that the focus was on the passengers, but, if you ask me, they stayed too much in the background. The performers who portrayed them were given way too few scenes where they were key figures in the scene if you ask me. I also doubt that they would have stood back as certain victims ran to the back galley to find some weapons to use against them.
There is some unique cinematography in this film during the scenes on board the plane. Instead of the massive movie cameras, they opted for smaller, handheld cameras. This certainly helped in the scenes which needed a lot of tension.
I also liked how certain people who were actually involved in the events depicted themselves in various scenes on the ground. I don't know how they did it, but they did an amazing job in their performances. I don't know how much of their scenes, if at all, were scripted, but they did a fabulous job. I am surprised at how well they did on camera. It was as if they had been acting for some time.
One thing that will be extremely hard for people to watch are the final moments of the movie before it fades to black. I even said something like a long "Geeeezzzzeeee" or something like that when it was on my television screen.
If you ask me, this movie is one of the slowest movies I have ever seen. The first quarter of the movie is extremely slow, and I almost turned the channel. It picked up a bit when they began to depict the start of the attack, but not by much.
I remember a few incidents of hearing some music in this movie, but none of the songs stand out in my mind. Because of what was going on in the movie, I basically ignored the soundtrack. Nothing really stood out from the soundtrack to me.
As a movie, I really can't recommend this one. But, for it's historical significance, I would suggest checking this one out only if nothing else is on television or you can't find what you are looking for the next time you are looking for something to rent.