A Film Review By Jeff Fro
| Starring: JJ Johnson, Lewis Alsamari, Gary Commock, CeeCee Lyles
Directed By: Paul Greengrass
Rated: R for language, and some intense sequences of terror and violence
Review Posted: May 1st, 2006
As we all sat in the theater together, all facing the same direction and headed into the journey this film would take us on, I had a feeling of subtle dejavu to the many flights I have taken in my life.
You board a plane with hope and some excitement. Your destination is usually somewhere you want to be, either the fun of a vacation or the comforts of going home. If you travel for work then its just another hoop to jump through to get business done. All of this seemed so common and ordinary before 9/11. Sure you heard about planes that had crashed, but that was rare. Of the thousands of planes that take off and land each day in America you have a better chance of winning a lottery than being in a plane crash. In America, most of us have grown up never hearing of a high jacking.
Even when we do hear about a plane crash, it’s always after the fact. It’s something that happened in the past and there is nothing you could have done to change it. United 93 was in the air when most of us heard about it’s destiny. The passengers were alive and in peril to be sure, but it felt like something could be done. There was still hope.
The film United 93 retained that feeling of hope. We hope against all odds that the events do not play out as we know they will. It was produced in a meticulous way to preserve all of the details on that day to a precious fault. The film has no specific point of view. We get no back story on anyone shown and the events roll out as if we are standing in the room or on the plane itself. Anonymous Americans are shown with the strength and dedication you would hope we all would have under those conditions.
The film is powerful and meaningful on many levels. It’s intelligently done and does not have any political axe to grind. The terrorists are shown to be people, emotional people. They are driven by motivations that are not defended or vilified.
Yes, I was emotionally moved by the film. But I did not feel manipulated by it and I think that is important to note. The movie took me back to that day, but it did not rub my face in the details that really could have easily pushed emotional buttons just for the sake of a reaction.
Out of respect for those who died on that plane, I think we all should see this film. It’s not only time to reflect on those events, it’s time to grow from the lessons which the people on United 93 only had moments to learn.
Even though they died, their actions keep hope alive.
God bless their bravery!