25th Hour Review

I’m just not sure about this movie.

One one hand it is a good movie filled with great characters (though none of them original), on the other hand it seems like a poorly conceived and maybe even exploitative tribute to the World Trade Center disaster.

The story of the movie is that Monty (Edward Norton) has been convicted of a crime and must set the relationships in his life straight before he heads off to jail. It’s a great premise pulled off fairly well. The movie moves a bit slow, but is filled with generally good dialog that seems to keep you interested.

The actors all did a good job. Philip Seymour Hoffman played his standard character, but did it well. Edward Norton did a great job as Monty. And the movie was well directed by Spike Lee.

My real problem is that this is the way that this movie seemingly exploits the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and particularly the Word Trade Center disaster. This is a movie that was adapted from a book that was released in early 2001. Well before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. But this movie makes a point of squeezing in scenes of the ruins and the tributes while adding nothing relating to the disaster to the plot line whatsoever. It just seems exploitative to me.

In one scene, Monty’s two friends, Frank and Jacob are standing in a window in Frank’s apartment that overlooks the World Trade Center ruins for three minutes. During this time the talk about the sight like middle-aged Bevis and Butthead would.

While I don’t think the subject should be ignored, and I certainly don’t think it should ever be forgotten, it seems as though it was just paraded through this movie without reason.

So in the end, after the movie was over I was conflicted. I liked the story, but I felt dirty for paying for something that I, in at least some respects, felt exploited the victims of 9/11.

Click here for other, probably better reviews of 25th Hour.