Thriller, Rated M, 91 Minutes.
Starring: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
Available 26 February – Outdoor from 26 April 2014.
Dr. Ryan Stone, is a medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky. But on a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone – tethered to nothing but each other and spiralling out into the blackness. They have lost communication with Earth…and any chance for rescue.
Matt Kowalski: Houston, I have a bad feeling about this mission.
Mission Control: Please elaborate.
Matt Kowalski: Well, it reminds of a story.
After creating some of the most breathtaking action scenes ever filmed with Children of Men director Alfonso Cuaron goes for broke with his new space disaster/survival movie Gravity. A film which has deservedly received high praise across the board for it’s breathtaking cinematography and special effects. However there is a camp that are down on the film due to its lack of story. So I let this film sit with me for a few days to give my adrenaline time to clear my system. And now with a clear head I can say that Gravity is awesome.
Sure it’s not a conventional movie with a complex story and a love interest thrown in for good measure, it’s just human survival and everyone should be able to relate to that. It’s a cinema experience much like the 1896 film ‘A Train Entering the Station’ by the Lumière Brothers that had audiences running from the cinema in fear of being run down. Gravity like the Train has set a new benchmark in cinema thrills, although I’m sure it had its critics back in the day.
Gravity is essentially a disaster action film and anyone comparing it to Kubrick’s 2001 or looking for something deeper in the film may be disappointed, that’s not to say it’s shallow entertainment. Where Cuaron may be compared to Kubrick is his eye for detail. We soon discover the world of zero gravity can be an extremely frustrating one as even the most fantastic scenes still seem to stay within the realms of reality, even if it’s a reality most of us aren’t familiar with. Cuaron, however does admit that some liberties were taken to move the story on, so if you happen to be an astronaut you may be able to do some nit picking.
For me the only scenes that felt awkward were a somewhat forced backstory with Sandra Bullock’s character that added nothing to the film, thankfully this was eclipsed by everything else. Maybe with a repeat viewing I’ll warm to that element more.
Seeing Gravity on the biggest screen you can find is a must – don’t even contemplate watching this on your laptop or mobile phone. Gravity is a cinema experience, and it is film’s like this that will keep the cinema going experience alive.
Review out of five stars: ★★★★★ Stars
Review by Andy Marshall – to find me on Letterboxd click HERE
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