Plot: Jeffrey (Charlie Sheen) is in the middle of a divorce from his longtime wife Eve (Gina Gershon), but he isn’t ready to sign the papers, as he feels like there is still life left in the marriage. The two have a mediation lined up, called by Jeffrey and he plans to ask her to reconsider, against his legal team’s advice. After all, he is a billionaire and a minor misstep could cost him millions in the settlement. The mediation happens and Eve is still determined to follow through, so the two head back and end up in the same elevator in the World Trade Center. Also inside are a bike messenger, a woman who came to break it off with her married lover, and a maintenance man, all trying to just get through the day and make it home. But when the elevator is shaken by an unknown force and it stalls between floors, they find themselves in the dark during a horrific historic event, with little chance to escape alive.
Entertainment Value: This movie is based on a stage production and it retains that small scale, personal scope, even within the massive, world changing scope of events of 9/11. In other words, this isn’t an epic disaster movie with set pieces and such, instead almost all the scenes happen within a couple of small interiors. This leads to a dialogue driven, almost character study approach, as it is more about the people involved, not the actual events that unfold. By the same token, the script doesn’t offer much in terms of depth with these characters, just broad stereotypes and predictable moments, which is a let down. In truth, this narrative could take place in any elevator anywhere, as the 9/11 elements are minimal at best. The main draw here is Charlie Sheen, an infamous critic of the 9/11 narrative who was an odd, but humorous choice for the lead here. He is able to uncork some of his conspiracy theories, which adds some entertainment, but he isn’t let loose. If this was intended to be a serious, respectful tribute, it misses the mark and comes off like a cheap, rushed movie. And if you’re going to make a cheap 9/11 movie, you might as well let Sheen off his leash, as at least then the movie won’t be a forgettable snore. Aside from Sheen’s ham handed, conspiracy spouting, 9/11 is a wide miss and doesn’t do justice to the historic events involved.
No nakedness. Despite the presence of impending doom, no one throws caution to the wind to bang out one last ride here. There’s some minor blood toward the finale, but nothing graphic or extreme in the least. Just the aftermath of a rough ride that caused some minor wounds. The dialogue is just about as bland as it gets, just basic and dull conversations. The movie seems to want to expose the inner depths of these folks, but it just never happens. The black guy is racist, the Puerto Rican gambles, the young woman is being used by an older man, and the married couple is distant, but still has the fire of passion deep inside. This is seriously as deep as 9/11 gets, as simple and bland as character work gets. Sheen’s infrequent conspiracy notions are the lone interesting elements here. No craziness. Just bland narrative, bland performances, and a movie that you forget before it even ends.
Overall Insanity: 0/10