A Glimpse at Giuliani
I am not a New Yorker nor have I ever been to New York, in fact I have never been to America and prior to 11th September 2001 I had never heard of Rudy Giuliani. I mention all this to put you in the picture to my knowledge before reviewing "Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story" because I feel it is important that you understand where I am coming from. What I watched was a mixed bag of a movie, a flat biographical look at the career and life of Rudy Giuliani which often came across as overly patriotic. But at the same time capturing the horror of 9/11 better than I have seen in some big budget movies as it effectively uses real life footage to get across that horror.
So basically whilst "Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story" covers the events of 9/11 it does flick back to take us through Giuliani's career going back to 1982 when he became an Associate Attorney General and met his wife Donna. What follows in between all the 9/11 footage is a walk through of his career from taking on the Mafia and insider trading to becoming Mayor of New York. Now as someone who knows little of Giuliani it does highlight what he did career wise whilst also dealing with his personal life but none of it feels like it has any depth, never really going in to detail but just getting through them. What it also does is portray him as not only a proud American but a passionate New Yorker, maybe that is how Giuliani was and still is but it comes across as too forced to the point of being corny when ever he says in private how much he loves New York, his city.
But there is the 9/11 side of "Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story" and again it is a mixed bag because the dramatization of what Giuliani did on that day often comes across as forced and fleeting like the rest of the movie. But the use of real life footage of what happened is some of the best I have seen and really brings to life the sickening events of that day. The footage of those poor civilians trapped above the crash zone of the World Trade Center, leaning out of their windows is heart breaking and watching the cloudy of dust engulf the street as one of the towers crumbles has never been so powerful. It is this side of "Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story" which is where it is at its most effective.
What certainly helps the movie is the casting of James Woods in the central role as Woods has power as an actor. I couldn't tell you whether Woods' portrayal of Giuliani is authentic but I can say he makes him a very powerful, confident and determined character which grabs your attention.
What this all boils down to is that "Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story" ends up on one hand a powerful movie for the way it uses the real life footage of 9/11. But on the other hand it ends up not only weak as it flits through Giuliani's career and life but occasionally corny in its over patriotism.