World Trade Center (film)

Last updated

World Trade Center
Worldtrade.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Oliver Stone
Produced by
Written by Andrea Berloff
Starring
Music by Craig Armstrong
Cinematography Seamus McGarvey
Edited by
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • August 9, 2006 (2006-08-09)
Running time
129 minutes [1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$65 million
Box office$163 million

World Trade Center is a 2006 American survival disaster drama film directed by Oliver Stone and based on the September 11, 2001 attacks at the World Trade Center. It stars Nicolas Cage, Maria Bello, Michael Peña, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Stephen Dorff and Michael Shannon. The film was shot between October 2005 and February 2006, and released on August 9, 2006.

The survival film is a film genre in which one or more characters make an effort at physical survival. It often overlaps with other film genres. It is a subgenre of the adventure film, along with swashbuckler films, war films, and safari films. Survival films are darker than most other adventure films which usually focus their storyline on a single character, usually the protagonist. The films tend to be "located primarily in a contemporary context" so film audiences are familiar with the setting, meaning the characters' activities are less romanticized.

A disaster film or disaster movie is a film genre that has an impending or ongoing disaster as its subject and primary plot device. Such disasters include natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, tsunamis or asteroid collisions, accidents such as shipwrecks or airplane crashes, or calamities like worldwide disease pandemics. A subgenre of action films, these films usually feature some degree of build-up, the disaster itself, and sometimes the aftermath, usually from the point of view of specific individual characters or their families or portraying the survival tactics of different people.

In film and television, drama is a genre of narrative fiction intended to be more serious than humorous in tone. Drama of this kind is usually qualified with additional terms that specify its particular subgenre, such as "police crime drama", "political drama", "legal drama", "historical period drama", "domestic drama", "teen drama", or "comedy-drama". These terms tend to indicate a particular setting or subject-matter, or else they qualify the otherwise serious tone of a drama with elements that encourage a broader range of moods.

Contents

Plot

On September 11, 2001, Port Authority Police Officers John McLoughlin and Will Jimeno are patrolling the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan when they see a plane fly dangerously low overhead. As all of the Police return to the station, they see on TV that the North Tower of the World Trade Center has been hit by the plane. Sergeant McLoughlin assigns many of the officers to assist in a precautionary evacuation attempt of the North Tower and they board a Metropolitan Transit Authority bus. On the bus, they hear reports that the South Tower is also hit by another plane. When they arrive at the World Trade Center, they realize the extent of the disaster, and see one of the victims jump out of the towers to certain death. The men proceed to get safety equipment from Building 5 and enter the concourse between the towers.

Port Authority Bus Terminal central bus station in New York City

The Port Authority Bus Terminal is the main gateway for interstate buses into Manhattan in New York City. It is owned and operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ). The bus terminal is located in Midtown at 625 Eighth Avenue between 40th Street and 42nd Street, one block east of the Lincoln Tunnel and one block west of Times Square. It is one of three bus terminals operated by the PANYNJ, the others being the George Washington Bridge Bus Station in Upper Manhattan and the Journal Square Transportation Center in Jersey City.

Midtown Manhattan central business district in New York City

Midtown Manhattan is the central portion of the borough of Manhattan in New York City. Midtown is home to some of the city's most iconic buildings, including the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project, the headquarters of the United Nations, Grand Central Terminal, and Rockefeller Center, as well as Broadway and Times Square.

World Trade Center (1973–2001) Former skyscraper complex in Manhattan, New York

The original World Trade Center was a large complex of seven buildings in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. It opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. At the time of their completion, the Twin Towers — the original 1 World Trade Center, at 1,368 feet (417 m); and 2 World Trade Center, at 1,362 feet (415.1 m)—were the tallest buildings in the world. Other buildings in the complex included the Marriott World Trade Center, 4 WTC, 5 WTC, 6 WTC, and 7 WTC. The complex contained 13,400,000 square feet (1,240,000 m2) of office space.

The group consists of McLoughlin, Jimeno, Dominick Pezzulo and Antonio Rodrigues. Officer Christopher Amoroso appears to inform them of other events, such as the attack on the Pentagon, the second plane's hit on the South Tower and an attack on Israel though the group does not accept any of these as true. As the men prepare to enter the North Tower, the buildings begin to rumble. McLoughlin realizes that the South Tower is collapsing onto them and that their only chance of survival is to run into the service elevator shaft. Amoroso trips and does not have time to get up, and Rodrigues is unable to get to the shaft in time, resulting in both deaths. McLoughlin, Jimeno and Pezzulo manage to escape the huge amounts of dust and rubble flying down from the South Tower. However, as the rubble continues to crush the elevator shaft, the three are trapped. As the cascade of debris subsides, Pezzulo realizes he can free himself and manages to move closer to Jimeno in order to shift the debris covering his legs, but cannot make it to McLoughlin as he is trapped deeper in the rubble. Pezzulo tries but fails to shift the debris due to its weight, and is instructed by McLoughlin not to leave.

American Airlines Flight 77 9/11 hijacked passenger flight, hit the Pentagon

American Airlines Flight 77 was a scheduled American Airlines domestic transcontinental passenger flight from Washington Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, to Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California. The Boeing 757-223 aircraft serving the flight was hijacked by five Saudi men affiliated with al-Qaeda on September 11, 2001, as part of the September 11 attacks. They deliberately crashed the plane into the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia, near Washington, D.C., killing all 64 people on board, including the five hijackers and six crew, as well as 125 people in the building.

Israel country in the Middle East

Israel, also known as the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia, located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the east and west, respectively, and Egypt to the southwest. The country contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area. Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only partial recognition.

Collapse of the World Trade Center collapse of the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001

New York City's World Trade Center was destroyed during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, after being struck by two hijacked commercial airliners. The North Tower was hit at 8:46 am and collapsed at 10:28 am. The South Tower was hit at 9:03 am and collapsed at 9:59 am. The resulting debris severely damaged or destroyed more than a dozen other adjacent and nearby structures, ultimately leading to the collapse of Seven World Trade Center at 5:21 pm.

As Pezzulo becomes optimistic that they will live, the rumbling begins again as the North Tower starts to collapse. Although Jimeno and McLoughlin are not further harmed, Pezzulo is fatally injured when a concrete slab falls into the hole, crushing his torso. After he fires a gun through a gap in the rubble to try to alert rescuers to their position, he dies. Jimeno and McLoughlin spend hours under the rubble, in pain but exchanging stories about their lives and families. McLoughlin is particularly anxious to keep Jimeno from falling asleep and Jimeno also realizes that by straining to grab a metal bar above his body, he can make a noise that rescuers might hear. Two United States Marines, Dave Karnes and Jason Thomas, who are searching for survivors, do hear it and find the men, calling for help to dig them out. Jimeno is rescued first, and then hours later McLoughlin is lifted out of the debris, barely alive and in critical condition. They are then both reunited with their distraught families at the hospital. Two years after the attacks, McLoughlin and Jimeno attend a barbecue with their families: McLoughlin's wife Donna, Jimeno's wife Allison, daughter Bianca, and their newest addition Olivia.

The epilogue states that John and Will were 2 of the 20 people pulled out alive and are now retired from active duty. Dave Karnes re-enlisted in the Marines.

Cast

Nicolas Cage American actor

Nicolas Kim Coppola, known professionally as Nicolas Cage, is an American actor and filmmaker. During his early career, Cage starred in a variety of films such as Valley Girl (1983), Racing with the Moon (1984), Birdy (1984), Peggy Sue Got Married (1986), Raising Arizona (1987), Moonstruck (1987), Vampire's Kiss (1989), Wild at Heart (1990), Fire Birds (1990), Honeymoon in Vegas (1992), and Red Rock West (1993).

Michael Peña American actor

Michael Antony Peña is an American actor and musician. He has starred in many films, such as Crash (2004), World Trade Center (2006), Shooter (2007), Observe and Report (2009), Tower Heist (2011), Battle: Los Angeles (2011), End of Watch (2012), Gangster Squad (2013), American Hustle (2013), Fury (2014), Frontera (2014), The Martian (2015), Collateral Beauty (2016), CHiPs (2017), My Little Pony: The Movie (2017), Ant-Man (2015) and its sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018), and A Wrinkle in Time (2018). Peña also had the title role in Cesar Chavez (2014) and plays the co-lead role in the TV series Narcos: Mexico (2018).

Maria Bello Actress, humanitarian

Maria Elena Bello is an American actress and writer. Her many film roles include Permanent Midnight (1998), Payback (1999), Coyote Ugly (2000), The Cooler (2003), A History of Violence (2005), The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008), Prisoners (2013), and Lights Out (2016). Bello is known for her television roles as Dr. Anna Del Amico on the medical drama ER (1997–1998), with other starring roles including that as Lucy Robbins on the series Touch in 2013, as Michelle McBride on the first season of the series Goliath in 2016, and since 2017 as Special Agent Jacqueline "Jack" Sloane on the series NCIS.

Production

The Port Authority police officers portrayed by Cage and Peña, John McLoughlin and Will Jimeno, and their wives, played by Bello and Gyllenhaal, were involved with the writing and overall production. McLoughlin and Jimeno said they wanted to have a film made to honor their rescuers and comrades who died on September 11, not for personal gain.[ citation needed ]

McLoughlin's wife Donna has said: "We got involved because we felt it needed to be done accurately. We wanted to do the right thing and I think the filmmakers wanted to do the right thing too." [3] Both John McLoughlin and Will Jimeno appear at the end of the film during the barbecue scene.

The real ESU (Emergency Services Unit) police from New York who are depicted in the film—Scott Strauss and Paddy McGee—were on set as technical advisers. In addition, the firemen in the film were played by real FDNY members who served on 9/11. All of them enthusiastically supported the film and its intention to accurately portray the rescue of McLoughlin and Jimeno.

Jeanette Pezzulo, the widow of Port Authority police officer Dominick Pezzulo (who died in the attacks and is played by Jay Hernandez in the film), expressed anger with the film, criticizing McLoughlin's and Jimeno's participation in its production. She's quoted as saying, "My thing is: this man died for you. How do you do this to his family?" [3] Staten Island resident Jamie Amoroso, whose husband also died during the rescue operation, also expressed her anger over the film and said she did "not need a movie" to tell her "what a hero" her husband was. [3]

Many major American newspapers ran editorials accusing Stone of having his film examine 9/11 conspiracy theories because Stone was known for examining various conspiracy theories surrounding the Kennedy assassination in JFK . However, Stone has stated that the film does not explore the conspiracy theories surrounding 9/11. He, the producers, and the real McLoughlin and Jimeno, have said the film is a simple dedication to the heroism and sadness of the day with little-to-no political themes. [3] [4] [5]

The film has been accused of not providing a fair portrayal of the character and motives of rescuer Dave Karnes and paramedic Chuck Sereika. They did not participate in the making of the film and felt their roles of being the first rescuers to reach the trapped men did not receive enough screen time. Sereika began treating and extricating Jimeno a full 20 minutes before officers from the New York City Police Department's Emergency Services Unit arrived. [6]

Non-fictional characters

John McLoughlin graduated from the State University of New York at Oswego, where he was a member of the Sigma Tau Chi fraternity. He was rescued after 22 hours, the 19th of 20 people pulled out of the rubble alive. Doctors kept him in an induced coma for six weeks. He underwent 27 surgeries and spent nearly three months in the hospital and rehabilitation. Four months after their rescue, McLoughlin and Jimeno — who both have since retired — took part in a ceremony at Ground Zero to watch as the final column was removed. When all the uniformed officers walked out of The Pit, the last two were McLoughlin and Jimeno. On June 11, 2002, McLoughlin received the Port Authority's Medal of Honor. [7] He resided into Goshen.

Will Jimeno was born on November 26, 1967 in Colombia but immigrated to New York City as a boy with his family. At the time of the attacks, he was a rookie cop assigned to the Port Authority Bus Terminal. [8] He was pulled out of the rubble after 13 hours, the 18th of 20 people pulled out alive. On June 11, 2002, Jimeno received the Port Authority's Medal of Honor. [8] Jimeno and McLoughlin make a cameo in the film. [9] On January 2, 2008, Jimeno appeared on the television game show Deal or No Deal and won $271,000.

Christopher Amoroso was born on June 1, 1972 and, raised in North Bergen, New Jersey where he attended North Bergen High School. [10] Since 2010 the Chopper 2002 Foundation has presented their Annual Invitational Softball Tournament in North Bergen on the first weekend of June.

Dominick Pezzulo was born on August 15, 1965 in Italy to Dino and Victoria Pezzulo. He was named after his grandfather Domenico Pezzulo. Pezzulo taught auto repair, math and computer technology. After seven years as a teacher, Pezzulo became a police officer for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department 13 months before the attack. He was stationed at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. On September 9, 2005, all of the public safety officers killed on September 11, 2001, were posthumously awarded the 9/11 Heroes Medal of Valor by President George W. Bush. [11] At the National 9/11 Memorial, Pezzulo is memorialized at the South Pool, on Panel S-29. [12] In his birthplace of Giano Vetusto, Italy, a plaque has been erected on the door of the house he grew up in. [13]

David W. Karnes was born c.1958 and spend 23 years in the Marine Corps infantry. He left his accounting office at Deloitte and Touche in Wilton, Connecticut on September 11, 2001 soon after witnessing the attacks on television to assist in the rescue efforts. Karnes spent nine days at the site before returning to his office. He then reenlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve and went on to serve in the Philippines and Iraq. He served for 17 months, including two tours of duty in Iraq. Karnes did not cooperate in the making of Stone's World Trade Center movie due to Stone's antipathy towards U.S. President George W. Bush. Some critics took issue with the portrayal in the film. Rebecca Liss of Slate magazine observed, "The film seems to overplay his zeal without conveying his motivations and reasoning." It notes he is unfairly portrayed as "a robotic soldier of Christ—a little wacky and simplistic." [14]

Jason Thomas was born ca. 1974 and was dropping his daughter off at the home of his mother on Long Island when she told him about the attacks. Despite having left active duty in August 2001, Thomas drove to Manhattan to assist in the rescue efforts., [15] telling the Associated Press: Someone needed help. It didn't matter who. I didn't even have a plan. But I have all this training as a Marine, and all I could think was, 'My city is in need.'" [15] As of 2013, Thomas is serving in the United States Air Force as a medical technician. [16] His portrayal by a white actor in the film generated controversy, although the producers claimed that they were unaware that the real Thomas was black until they had already started filming . [17] [18] On February 11, 2007, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition aired a special two-hour episode about Thomas and his family. Following the attacks, Thomas and his wife had moved their four children from New York to Whitehall, Ohio. The house they bought began to deteriorate and the show intervened to help them. On September 2, 2013, Channel 4 broadcast The Lost Hero of 9/11 [19] which detailed Thomas involvement in the rescue operation following the collapse of both towers. As of 2018, Thomas was living in Whitehall, Ohio with his wife Kirsti and their children. He worked as an officer for the Ohio Supreme Court. [20] [21] Thomas is in 15 Septembers Later which has appeared on the History Channel.[ citation needed ]

Reception

Box office

On opening weekend, it made approximately $18,730,762 in the U.S. and Canada. In total, the film grossed $70,278,893 at the North American box office, and over $162,970,240 worldwide. [22]

Critical response

The film received generally positive reviews from critics, with a 67% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 232 reviews and an average rating of 6.66/10. The website's critical consensus states, "As a visually stunning tribute to lives lost in tragedy, World Trade Center succeeds unequivocally, and it is more politically muted than many of Stone's other works." [23] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 66 out of 100, based on 40 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". [24]

The producers met with all relevant September 11 victims groups, before production began, to inform them of the intent. After its release, they, the NYPD, and the FDNY were very pleased with it. Former mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Governor George Pataki and then-Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scopetta, as well as representatives from the NY Port Authority, were at the premiere of the film at the Ziegfeld Theatre in Manhattan.

Home media

The Region 1 DVD was released on December 12, 2006 with a Region 2 release following on January 29, 2007. A special 2-disc set was also released. A 3-disc deluxe edition was produced exclusively for Target stores. Although Paramount initially dropped its support of the Blu-ray format, it came to support Blu-ray again after HD DVD's demise. The film re-appeared on Blu-ray in May 2008.

See also

Notes

  1. "WORLD TRADE CENTER (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. August 14, 2006. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
  2. "PA HONCHO IS READY FOR HIS CLOSEUP - NY Daily News". www.nydailynews.com.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Sharp, Rob (July 9, 2006). "A film too far for Stone?". The Guardian . Guardian News and Media . Retrieved July 19, 2006.
  4. Mantel, John Marshall (November 2, 2005). "Oliver Stone shoots Sept. 11 movie in New York". USA Today . Gannett Company . Retrieved July 22, 2006.
  5. Halbfinger, David M. (July 2, 2006). "Oliver Stone's 'World Trade Center' Seeks Truth in the Rubble". The New York Times . The New York Times Company. Retrieved July 22, 2006.
  6. Liss, Rebecca (August 9, 2006). "Oliver Stone's World Trade Center Fiction". Slate . The Slate Group. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  7. Dennis Cauchon and Martha T. Moor. He resides in Goshen, New York "Miracles emerge from debris". USA Today . September 6, 2002
  8. 1 2 "Miracles emerge from debris", usatoday.com, September 5, 2002; accessed August 28, 2015.
  9. "Oliver Stone's World Trade Center Fiction". Slate. August 9, 2006. Archived from the original on August 28, 2006. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  10. Alsbrook, Nina-Louise. "Christopher Amoroso, 29, Port Authority Police officer less than 2 years", Staten Island Advance , September 11, 2010. Accessed September 10, 2015. "Born on Long Island, Mr. Amoroso was raised in North Bergen, N.J. He graduated from North Bergen High School in 1990, and lived briefly in Bayonne, N.J, working six years for Consolidated Dairy."
  11. "President Remembers 9/11 Heroes at Medal of Valor Award Ceremony". Press release of President George W. Bush's comments. www.whitehouse.gov. September 5, 2005. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  12. "South Pool: Panel S-29 - Dominick A. Pezzulo". National September 11 Memorial & Museum . Retrieved October 29, 2011.
  13. "9-11 Victim Memorial: Dominick Pezzulo". www.9-11heroes.us. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  14. Liss, Rebecca. "How the 9/11 Rescue Really Happened". Slate magazine.
  15. 1 2 Caruso, David B (August 14, 2006). "Mystery 9/11 rescuer reveals himself". Yahoo! News . Archived from the original on August 22, 2006.
  16. "Time to get your flu shot". www.445aw.afrc.af.mil. Retrieved January 8, 2018. Staff Sgt. Jason Thomas, 445th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, administers a flu vaccine to Staff Sgt. Joshua McCrabb, 445th Security Forces Squadron craftsman, during the Oct. 13 unit training assembly for the 2012-13 flu season
  17. Spencer, Lester (August 22, 2006). "Oliver Stone's 'Trade Center' Casting Recall". NPR . Retrieved October 31, 2017.
  18. "Mystery 9/11 rescuer reveals himself". msnbc.com. Associated Press. August 15, 2006. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  19. http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-lost-hero-of-911
  20. Feran, Tim (June 16, 2007). "Whitehall family opens home for tours after 'Extreme Makeover'". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  21. Gant, Jenna (October 26, 2012). "9/11 Hero Speaks to Ohio's Law Enforcement Officers". www.courtnewsohio.gov. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  22. "World Trade Center". Box Office Mojo . IMDb . Retrieved October 9, 2011.
  23. "World Trade Center (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes . Fandango Media . Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  24. "World Trade Center Reviews". Metacritic . CBS Interactive . Retrieved March 22, 2009.

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References