The 9/11 Commission Report (2006)

I tried. Lord help me, how I tried. But there are just some people almost incapable of creating quality. Brett Ratner, Uwe Boll, Britney Spears, and Asylum. To their credit “The 9/11 Commission Report” seems like an honest attempt by the company to advance into a more sophisticated state of storytelling and movie making. But for all intents and purposes, it comes off as another truly terrible film in their gallery. At the opening, the disclaimer notifies audiences that all the names have been changed, but the names of the terrorists remain relatively the same.

A man named Mussaui attempts to learn how to fly a plane. With a stone cold grimace that would instantly make anyone uneasy, this “undercover” agent is able to learn how to fly on a small computer. And you have to wonder, not how he was able to get into this program so easily, but on how these people didn’t even ask questions; because this scene is so far-fetched in its presentation, and the actor playing this man is extremely over the top. And you can see that director Scott attempts to mimic Paul Greengrass with a bright grainy photography that’s followed by an awfully dizzying and irritating handheld direction that, throughout the entire film, attempts to take off from Greengrass’s gung-ho guerilla filmmaking techniques. You can sense Scott emulating Greengrass’s technique for realism, but it becomes rather lame-brained halfway in.

Meanwhile the film comes off less a “Traffic” take off, and more a take off on “Law & Order” in which we’ll have the disclaimer notifying us the names have been changed, the logo almost reminiscent of the “Law & Order” logo, and then ninety minutes of the actors pumping their chests and discussing politics. Neither of which are ever as compelling as it tries to be. And then when the film seems as if its attempting to be an adult drama, Scott relies on his old failsafe, the sex scene. Scott’s new film looks like it really wants to be thought of as a low budget “Munich” but it’s not, and it manages to be underwhelming on every such occasion possible. “The 9/11 Commission Report” falls flat, and that’s because its limited in its attempts to imitate other films. While I appreciate the ambition inherent behind the camera, this new perspective of the events leading up to 9/11 is flat, and dull. Hard as it may try to be a low-budget “Munich” it’s only really as entertaining as a normal Dolph Lundgren film you’d find on Cinemax.