The film is shot in very much documentary style, filmed in real time with a grainy contrast and close, fast moving hand held direction, which encapsulates the realism of the overwhelmingly tense ordeal. Many of the military and air ground staff were actually played by real employees, none of the actors where known stars and the simplicity of the story telling all contributed to this feel of reality, which was perfect for a film that endeavoured to re-create one this centuries most astonishing disasters.
The story is very simple. We are taken into the normal working day of the National Air Traffic Control Centre and a section of the Military. Once we are familiarised with each department and their function, the drama begins. The Twin Towers are attacked. As the first plane explodes into the side of the building, the hijackers on flight 93 begin their reign of terror. By the time the Pentagon is attacked, the hostages realise that they are not being held for ransom and neither will they be returning home. Amidst the tears of fear and the heartbreaking phone calls to loved ones, fuelled by the utmost courage and bravery, the passengers on flight 93 of United Airlines of America decide that they will not be idle front row spectators to the destruction of the White house.
The patient build up of this film can easily be mistaken for a slow and boring beginning. But the British Writer/Director takes his time in familiarising the audience with certain terminology and characters, whilst slowly winding the coil of this film until the level of tension built up, could bind galaxies and leaves you biting through nail, finger, bone and marrow. And when the coil is released, we are caught in an emotionally charged, whirlwind of a 3rd act which leaves you frozen at the edge of your seat, with tears poised on the edge of your eyelids. Fantastic.
Best scene: As the first plane hits its target and the time to attack beckons for the terrorists on flight 93, the suspense created leaves you shaking.