United 93


Rating: 13/20

Plot: Based on an American folk tale, the story involves terrorists hijacking planes and crashing them into things. The passengers on the title plane want to crash into the ground instead. A plan is hatched!

Oops. I thought this was a sequel to Airplane! It's not though. It's a 9/11 movie, and although I fully expected it to completely suck because it's a 9/11 movie, it really didn't. It's faithful to the memory of these people and never even approaches anything over-the-top, slimy, slippery, sticky, cheesy, drippy, Nicolas Cagey, or tasteless. Even the catchphrase "Let's roll!" is something you might miss if you're not paying attention rather than being something an action hero utters. Instead, it just recreates the chaos of the day in real-time and allows the audience to reflect. There's some acting that seems to be a little too much, but I like how the movie has very little music and almost nothing going on stylistically. It's very un-movie like. Tension and anticipation are created naturally, and the scenes on the plane are made horrific and claustrophobic with the use of handheld cameras. I'm still not sure I understand the point though. We already know the beginning, the middle, and the end of this, and I can see how this would just be too much for some people to take. I'm not sure this contributes anything to anything.

I also couldn't help wondering how much better this would have been with Steven Stucker reprising his role as Johnny from Airplane! Steven Stucker walking in every once in a while to say something hilarious would have made this much less depressing. Maybe the people responsible for Meet the Spartans will someday make a spoof of this one. If they do, Steven Stucker should be in it!

Note: This movie was indeed inspirational. I started penning notes for Let's Roll: The Musical while watching this. Maybe I'll star in and direct that once I start and finish that kung-fu/zombie sequel to The Diary of Anne Frank I've been planning for years. Steven Stucker, if you're out there, get in touch with me. I need to know if you can sing!

Here I am watching the movie:


cory said...

"Let's Roll: The Musical", huh? When I first saw this I thought it was one of the best movies of the year and would have given it about a 17 (if I had used such an absurd ratings scale back then), but now it might not be quite as high. There was a great deal of tension (especially the scenes in First Class waiting for the attack) and the acting was almost understated. I do find merit in historical movies so future kids don't have to read a book. This movie did as well as any could on a broad scale, but my only knock against it is that it had a bit of a TV docudrama feel to it. I would now split the difference with your harsh 13 and call it a 15.

Shane said...

Before my closed-mind watched this, I would have made fun of anybody giving this a high rating. But I have no problem with people who want to go one or two points higher.