(I'm reviewing documentaries posted in order - no intentional skipping)
I was expecting Frontline's dry documentary style (which I usually like) but the jazz, the hushed voices, the clubs - they really tried to stylize O'Neill's life. And after hearing about the kind of guy he was, he'd have appreciated it.
Quick summary: FBI Maverick is obsessed with Bin Laden, lives for his work (and his clothes, and his mistress) wants to change how the FBI handles and passes along information, and is rather carefree with his own safety. He stopped a Y2K massacre in New York (which he attended, in case the attack happened he wanted to be there), and is about to figure out 9/11 - he has two of the eventual pilots within his grasp, and a plane ticket to Yemen - but then some jealous types and a rigid bureaucracy screw him over and kick him out.
Defeated but still hoping to help, he takes a job as the security officer at the World Trade Center, knowing full well what he's getting himself into.
The big eye opener? It's harder to blame Bush for 9/11 after watching this (not impossible, just harder.) I had to check and make sure L.A. BRONCOS FAN recommended this. The biggest issue wasn't a president that ignored reports - it was that the rigid, slow moving bureaucracy of the FBI wasn't ready for a small, well-funded global opponent. O'Neill tried his best to fix the FBI, and failing that - to stop Al Qaeda on his own, but one ball-buster can only do so much.
Heroic and sad story. Frontline does their best to jazz it up, but it lags at times. FBI people can make for dry interviewees, no matter how exciting their lives. All I really wanted to see was O'Neill busting terrorists and schmoozing with foreigners. This would work much better as a feature film.