In 2001, David Benioff (Troy, Game Of Thrones) wrote a book called, “25th Hour.” The story is about a drug dealer named, Monty in his last day of freedom before he serves his seven year sentence in prison. Monty reflects his life, spends his remaining hours hanging out with his friends and girlfriend. Prior to opening in book stores, Tobey Maguire read a trade copy. He became interested in adapting the book into a film with him playing the lead role. Plans were changed when Tobey signed on to portray “Spider-Man.” Regardless of schedule conflicts, Tobey became a producer with Edward “Ed” Norton (one of my all time favorite actors) portraying Monty. Spike Lee signed on as director. Suddenly, 9/11 sadly occurred. Spike decided to use the tragedy as background, because he wants it as a metaphor for Monty’s last moments of freedom. After everything’s done, 25th Hour was officially distributed in theaters.
25th Hour was released in 2002. (same year Gangs Of New York came out) It received positive reviews from critics and movie goers alike. Roger Ebert listed 25th Hour as one of his favorite films. In addition to critical praise, it also made enough money at the box office. I always watch 25th Hour on September 11th, as a sign to pay my respects to the victims and firefighters.
Edward Norton’s recent film titled, “The French Dispatch is another collaboration with Wes Anderson is slated to come out eight days before Halloween. Ed officially signed up for “Knives Out 2” streaming soon on Netflix. I can’t wait to see him work with my favorite James Bond actor, Daniel Craig. I thought about sharing my thoughts on 25th Hour to pay my respects to the victims of 9/11 and gear up for Ed’s upcoming movies.
Today’s review contains no SPOILERS. I’m giving some of you a chance to see this movie. Is it one of Spike Lee’s best joints? Let’s find out shall we?
Positive & Negative Aspects
Positive: Edward Norton did an excellent job for his performance as Monty. It’s a darn shame Ed didn’t get nominated for an Oscar. As of 2021, he still hasn’t got one.
Other Cast Members such as Rosario Dawson, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, (may he Rest In Peace) Barry Pepper, Anna Paquin & Brian Cox all did a great job for their respective performances.
Fun Fact: Anna Paquin & Brian Cox both appear in “X2: X-Men United.”
Spike Lee did a decent job directing. He also co-produced the film.
David Benioff managed to translate his book on the big screen.
Tobey Maguire co-produced the film. He couldn’t play the lead role, because he was busy portraying Spider-Man. So Ed filled in his position.
Cinematography never suffered from any technical difficulties.
Spike’s trademark use of “Double Dolly” places a person or two on a treadmill to make the individuals look like they are floating.
In one scene, Monty mentioned Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat from “X-Men.” Again, Anna Paquin & Brian Cox both appeared in X2: X-Man United. David Benioff went on to write that god awful “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” I will never forgive him for butchering Deadpool’s appearance.
Terrence Blanchard (a frequent collaborator of Spike) orchestrated the music.
Character Development involving Monty. As the film progresses, he reflects back on his life, mistakes and accepting his seven year sentence.
Monty delivers a five minute monologue. Ed deserves Bonus Points for all that hard work memorizing an entire monologue.
If you’re a fan of “The Wire,” Isiah Whitlock Jr. A.KA. Clay Davis appears as a DEA agent. Ed is a fan of the show. To put the icing on the cake, Isiah gets to say his catchphrase. Can you guess?
Opening Credits shows two blue lights located in Ground Zero paying respects to the victims of 9/11.
Primary Themes are Freedom, Reflection, Regret & Imprisonment. Each theme is handled maturely.
Without giving anything away, The Ending will make you cry. It’s ok to shed a couple tears.
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
25th Hour is one of Spike Lee’s best joints. Don’t forget this movie is also one of David Benioff’s best works too. Edward Norton delivers a magnificent performance. Too bad, The Oscars never caught his attention. If you haven’t seen 25th Hour, I strongly recommend it. I hope someday, Ed will finally earn his Oscar. He definitely deserves one for his amazing performances in “Primal Fear,” “American History X,” “Fight Club” & “Birdman.” Too bad he never got earned one from any of the aforementioned films.
Rest In Peace to the victims of 9/11. You’re all in a better place.