World Trade Center, Oliver Stone's film about the 9/11 attacks, is really about just one aspect of the events of that day. As has been widely reported, World Trade Center tells the story of two New York City Port Authority policeman who went into one of the Twin Towers, as part of a team of five, and were buried in rubble when the first tower collapsed. They survived the subsequent collapses of two other buildings in the seven-building WTC complex, and were rescued after enduring a long time pinned under the heavy debris while gravely injured. The rescue was the result of heroic and courageous efforts by many people whose desire to help others overcame their personal fears and self-interest. That, of course, is exactly what the two policeman and their comrades had done as well by going into that obviously dangerous disaster site.
The film is very skillfully made and is quite moving at times. It is probably best described as a disaster movie of very high quality.
It could have been more. The film resolutely avoids dwelling on the deeper causes of the disaster, downplaying the people behind the 9/11 attacks and the fact that they deliberately did this to innocent strangers. The film shows with apparent sympathy a Marine who decides to go to war against the perpetrators of the atrocity, and there are other occasional, fleeting references to the fact that the collapse of the Twin Towers was the result of a deliberate act of mass murder, but director Stone and screenwriter Andrea Berloff keep the focus firmly on the men in the rubble, their loved ones, and their rescuers. That keeps the film on the positive side of things, showing how good people live their lives and give of themselves to serve others. And to concentrate on that story is certainly the filmmakers' prerogative.
In addition, the film includes a large amount of Christian imagery and actions that add weight and context to the events of the story. That is all to the good.
From Karnick on Culture.