Thursday, December 7, 2006
NEW RELEASES - United 93 ***
Short review - United 93 is a film, that, in many ways, lives up to the hype that surrounds it. The way writer*/director Paul Greengrass brilliantly recreates a feeling of dread and tension the first third, then panic for the second, and finally chaos, terror, and confusion for the third. And there's some mourning in there too. It's hard not to be heartbroken watching passenger after passanger call their loved ones and tell them they love them. Some explain - some don't, and simply hang up.
The film, as moving as it is as a tribute to the lost, is also itself disturbingly morally lax and racist - in a scene I found repulsive in the beginning where we see the hijakers reading the Koran and hear it imposed over shots of New York City on 9/11 morning - and more scenes contrasting the terrorists reciting their Arabic prayers to the passengers, who are all reciting christian prayers. The implications are so racist it nearly blots out the artistic achievment in the rest of the movie.
That's right, this is the Birth of a Nation of our New Day and Age. Hopefully we will be wise enough to regard it as so 90 years from now. Some argue: but shouldn't you be focusing on the artistic part of the movie? That's the Nation debate back and forth, and, well, I always thought racist movies kind of subtracted from the "intelligence" factor, no?
So my final analysis:
Suspensful, moving, and stupid.
*Although there apparently wasn't really much of a shooting script.