After the abduction by the US military of an Islamic religious leader, New York City becomes the target of escalating terrorist attacks. Anthony Hubbard, the head of the FBI's Counter-Terrorism Task Force in New York, teams up with CIA operative Elise Kraft to hunt down the terrorist cells responsible for the attacks. As the bombings continue, the US government responds by declaring martial law, sending US troops, led by Gen. Devereaux, into the streets of New York City. Written by
Karen Eiler <email@example.com>
Nearly the entire movie is set in the dead of winter (heavy coats, visible breath, etc.) yet the fly-over of the capitol building shows trees in full bloom. See more »
[the agents discuss the bus that was paint bombed]
Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard:
See if any was sold in quantity the last month. Danny, find out what stop these guys got on the bus, maybe there's a witness.
Agent Frank Haddad:
Hub, I think we're all eager to give our weekends up on this, I know I am... but it just occurs to me, has any one committed a crime here? I mean, assault with a deadly color...?
Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard:
Here's what I don't like: they know explosives. They know our response time. They put in a call and walk.
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Islamo-fascists (or simply "terrorists") have taken their game to a whole new level, striking schools and even the FBI office. This film shows a fictional version of what happens when America meddles in foreign affairs, when the foreigners push back and how we would have to give up civil liberties to protect our freedoms. (Or, more properly, why we shouldn't have to.)
Denzel Washington is Anthony 'Hub' Hubbard, and like all his action roles, he is a strong and sturdy leader. I love Washington so much. I warmed up to him after seeing "Man on Fire" and this goes above and beyond that as the best role I've seen him in. Annette Bening is a CIA operative, and she continues her streak of starring in roles that annoy me (such as the one in "American President"). Other than "American Beauty", I can do without her...
Bruce Willis is Major General William Devereaux and is quite good at being both pragmatic and tyrannical as he needs to be -- in the same role. We see his "Die Hard" persona more refined into a leadership spot -- commanding others to do what McClane's commanders would have him do. It's like a promotion. Tony Shalhoub is Agent Frank Haddad, and this is his best role (and when does he ever disappoint?). Aasif Mandvi ("The Daily Show") also appears as Khalil Saleh.
This film works as an action-drama. Plenty of frustrated romance and explosions, as well as gunfights and tense situations where a bus might explode (where is Keanu Reeves when you need him). So, even if you have no interest in American history or politics, you're probably going to appreciate the running and jumping and shooting.
History and politics buffs will enjoy it even more. We have the history of what America did in Iraq after the Gulf War (hint: we let Saddam slaughter his own people). And we have a sneak-peak of what would happen if a major terrorist attack hit New York. Muslims and Arabs are rounded up and all seen as suspects, liberties are brought to a minimum and there is a debate between waging a war and a police action -- with war winning the debate. I think if anything this film gave America too much credit for being sympathetic to Muslims. But at least we don't have concentration camps where we store innocent Arabs (unless you count Guantanamo Bay).
This film flew under my radar and I had not been aware of it until some friends pointed me in the right direction. With 9/11 and Iraq now having happened, this film gives a great overview. Along with "Syriana", "Jarhead" and "Three Kings" this will give a good starting point of how to view the world and America's role in it, at least from a fictional point of view.
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