Retro Review: United 93

We all remember that fateful day. The day our safety evaporated with one single solitary image. It was all over.

Now nearly six years later, we are still picking up the pieces, invading foreign lands, detaining innocent men, disrupting personal freedoms and watching as what we once held dear to our hearts crumble at our feet.

Housed within those horrific events there was a story of hope, heroism and sacrifice. That was the men and women of United Flight 93.

This is their story.

The film follows the passengers as they board that ill-fated airliner on September 11, 2001. The film practically shows the events in compressed real time and with a documentary feel. Basically what happened on the airliner is that 9/11 terrorists seized control of the plane and veered the plane off towards Washington. The passengers fought back and they stopped the terrorists by sacrificing their lives.

The film is horrific, terrifying, amazing, breathless and utterly emotional. It is the kind of film we need as we look back at 9/11. We lost so much that day and in some ways this story gives us a sliver back.

I liked how the film was told in an almost documentary style with rough cuts, raw feeling footage, no big name stars and character actors mixed with real-life airline and air-traffic controllers. It brought an authenticity to it, an almost feeling of stepping back in time.

It has been said that if United 93 was about a fictious plane on any given day and was hijacked by terrorists it wouldn’t have the same impact. If that fictious film was made it would starred Kurt Russell (Executive Decision) or Chuck Norris (Delta Force) or Wesley Snipes (Passenger 57). We have seen that film a dozen times. Or maybe it would be like making a fictious film, about “Pearl Harbor”, oh sorry they already did that too.

That statement is true but that it also misses the point completely of making a film like this. The film is about 9/11 and the images are still so vivid in our minds and that does touch on every emotion in our being. And that is the point. That is why this film is utterly brilliant.

(4.5 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer

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