In the press packet about the movie, Oliver Stone is quoted as saying: "Although my politics and John and Will's may be different, it didn't matter; we all got along. I can make a movie about them and their experiences because they went through something that I can understand. Politics does not enter into it - it's about courage and survival."
One of the five who died, Dominick Pezzulo (played by Jay Hernandez) survived the first tower collapse, but not the second. The real Will Jimeno says of his friend, "He was a cop, a schoolteacher, a father, a son, but in the end, he was a great American."
Movies like "World Trade Center" - and "United 93," which preceded it - don't come along very often. More should.
There are many scenes that will cause audiences to reach for the tissues, but the last one is a true resurrection moment. As Jimeno, first, and then McLoughlin are lifted out of what could have been their graves, they are passed from hand-to-hand along a gauntlet made up of their colleagues, more than 50 of whom are real-life members of the PAPD, the NYPD and FDNY who were flown to Los Angeles for the scene.
Whatever one thinks of Oliver Stone, the man knows how to make movies. This is one of his best. It deserves an Oscar in so many categories. It also deserves the thanks of a grateful nation. Go and see it beginning Aug. 9 and make him a large profit so he might consider inspiring us again, as his predecessors so often did during Hollywood's Golden Age.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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