Recently watched Man of Steel...That film really revels in the 9/11 imagery. It's kinda harrowing. I know the Avengers had similar citywide destruction, but there's something more 'real' and sombre about Man of Steel. Perhaps it has something to do with the CGI being so impressive or the emphasis on the actual victims. There are numerous scenes where people stare gobsmacked at planes crashing into buildings, run from collapsing skyscrapers and are trapped under buildings.
It's a little tasteless to see Superman standing in an ash cloud with debris everywhere and a burning cityscape. Considering Snyder really doubles-down in making Superman such a stoic/heroic figure in the icongorapy used, it's seriously odd that he isn't doing much 'hero-ing' in the film. He basically uses a major metropolis as the battleground for disaster.
Yeah, especially as before 911 I don't think anyone really realised what a big building falling down uncontrolled actually looked like: all of those dust clouds etc.
Let’s face it, the destruction of Metropolis is callous and brutal and like we said, we’re not the only ones to complain about it. Perhaps the biggest missed opportunity is to acknowledge the 9/11 style damage in the last act and have Superman react to it instead of being the primary cause of it. Imagine a world where we have a hero like Superman on a day like that. The fact that this scene so obviously recalls the realistic horrors of that day without giving us the catharsis of the hero to respond to it is the biggest missed opportunity. Destruction and mayhem hover over all these scenes like troubling, rotting death, but Superman seems to be too busy busting Zod’s skull to notice. The evoking of 9/11 in these scenes is therefore shallow and hollow, the tragedy being abused for this superhero film, but never seeming at all earned. Disturbing and disconcerting to say the least.
One has to keep in mind that Casino Royale was released half a decade after 9/11. Die Another Day was the first post-9/11 Bond film and released just a couple years after the event. You can tell because it barely acknowledged 9/11. In 2002 audiences were still in the mood for escapism to deal with trauma, so DAD did very well at the box office.
By 2006 not only was 9/11 further back in time, but the Iraq War was turning sour and the national mood was disillusioned and bitter. The Bourne films and 24 were perfectly suited to this period and appealed to a wide sense of malaise. The world had suffered through more terrorist attacks and was more desensitized.
So CR was not being bold in showing an airport menaced by terrorists. It might not even have been the first film/show to show such a thing. And I think this sort of sequence would not have been viewed as political--since it has no ideological content and has nothing to say about terrorism--but rather opportunistic in the usual Hollywood way. Movies have always tried to be contemporary by throwing in allusions to current events to attract audiences.