Warning this is a wild ride. If you suffer from motion sickness, fainting spells, high blood pressure, back or neck problems or other conditions that could be aggravated by this adventure Do Not See This Movie. (I borrowed that from the warning signs at Disney’s Space Mountain)
Now that we got all the “legalese” out of the way, let me tell you about this film. I have seen a lot of movies in my time but nothing has ever affected me so much as watching this movie. The Walk directed by Robert Zemeckis, you know the nice, sweet guy who did all those great films like Forest Gump, Polar Express, Castaway, Flight, Real Steel, and the Back to the Future series has created one of the most intense movies I have ever seen.
This is a true story about Frenchmen Philippe Pettit, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a high-wire performer, who on August 7, 1974, dared to walk a tight rope strung between the World Trade Center Towers. Twelve men have walked on the moon but only one man has made this journey. In 1980, the documentary about this feat, Man on Wire directed by James Marsh, won numerous awards.
The movie is told from Philippe’s point of view broken into three chapters. The first chapter begins with him growing up in France and his fascination of becoming a tight rope artist. The second chapter deals with his traveling to the United States, assembling a motley crew in order to pull off the dangerous and illegal walk and the third chapter is the walk itself.
While it may seem like a simple story the CGI cinematography of the actual performance towering way above the New York skyline is so real and intense you actually believed you were there; it was the scariest situation I have ever encountered. I have a small fear of heights. Sure I can climb a ladder and get up on a roof but if I’m very, very high and looking down I am scared out of my wits. Now imagine yourself being on top of the World Trade Center Towers and you get the idea. There were people in the audience who had to leave because they couldn’t handle how real the cinematography was, in fact while I was watching the film, I kept having to tell myself this is only a movie but I was still quivering, shaking, sweating and trembling in fear. My heart was racing, my breathing was rapid, and at one point I almost passed out from fear. In fact it was so realistic that it took me almost 30 minutes after the end of the movie just to calm my nerves down in order to drive home. I saw this movie in IMAX 3-D and it doesn’t get any better than that! I thought the movie Everest, also in IMAX 3-D, was spectacular but it doesn’t hold a candle to this film when it comes to the sheer fear factor of heights.
I would highly recommend this movie to every one of all ages because you may never have the opportunity again of witnessing such an event and spectacular CGI cinematography in a motion picture. This is definitely an Oscar contender for that category.
3 1/2 out of 4 stars