MOVIE REVIEW: The last review for January 2016 is for “The Walk,” which stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception, Looper), Charlotte Le Bon (The Hundred-Foot Journey, Yves Saint Laurent), Ben Kingsley (Ender’s Game, Iron Man 3), Clement Sibony (The Tourist, He Loves Me… He Loves Me Not), Cesar Domboy (The Princess of Montpensier, Baby Balloon), James Badge Dale (The Departed, World War Z), Steve Valentine (I’m in the Band [TV series], Crossing Jordan [TV series]), Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation [TV series], House of Lies [TV series]), and Benedict Samuel (Asthma, The Stanford Prison Experiment). It is directed by Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, The Polar Express) who also co-wrote the screenplay with Christopher Browne (Operation Barn Owl [short], Pupil [short]). Based on a true story, this film details high-wire artist Philippe Petit’s (Gordon-Levitt) journey to his legendary stunt of walking between the World Trade Center towers on a tightrope.
Another film that I have anticipated for since last year is “The Walk.” By the trailers it looked like a promising feature, especially whenever it stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and is directed by Robert Zemeckis. I had high hopes for this movie to say the least, and by the end of my viewing experience I would say that most of my expectations were filled. The story itself is peculiarly carried out. Of course everyone’s interest in seeing this film came from the walk across the Twin Towers, but what about the rest of the movie? The walk only takes around ten to fifteen minutes, leaving us with over an hour left of other footage. To fill that gap, we learn of Petit’s passion; what fuels him to walk on the wire. We don’t learn his life story from the point he was born to now, but rather his drive to walk a tightrope across the tallest buildings. It is all narrated by Petit as we get shots of him standing on the Statue of Liberty. What I find peculiar about this picture is the fact that, besides the walk itself, it can be scrambled in storytelling. One moment we find Petit performing on the street in black-and-white (although the filter looked cool, I don’t know what it represented) while the next we find him meeting people to help him get his dream accomplished. It’s in-your-face storytelling because it never takes the time to take a step back, besides the walk. I enjoyed the display of Petit’s life leading up to his memorable walk as it possessed great narration and fun scenes. The tone of this definitely won me over as it was light-hearted but punchy at the same time. Zemeckis’s directing was brilliant in this. He gave great angles and transitions around a scene, most importantly giving a sleek finish to the film. What made the movie even better was the musical score, which was given to us by Alan Silvestri. The many sounds that played during this release hyped me up for Petit and his crew’s plans. The performances in this movie were great as well. Joseph Gordon-Levitt played a believable Frenchman and his co-stars were fantastic in their roles too. I found the special effects to be amazing, especially with the walk across the Twin Towers. That scene was definitely something to behold as it was shot beautifully. Even though I knew it was CGI it seemed life-like, and it was by far the best scene of the whole movie (why wouldn’t it be?). When I talked earlier about the story being scrambled, that would be my first con. What it basically did was present us the dream, but not so much the character of Philippe Petit. In Gordon-Levitt’s acting I could sense the passion, but I didn’t feel as deep for the character as I should, and I think that goes to the execution of this movie. Besides that issue, the last one I have is that it can drag at times, mainly with the first act. Once the plan starts coming into play of how they will get a wire on the Twin Towers, the story picks up pace. In the end, I found this film to be satisfying. It wasn’t a fantastic movie, but it was a very good one. It gave an elegance to walking on a tightrope and it was a visually stunning film. FINAL SCORE: 88%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: