I have this issue regularly. Like I'm supposed to believe Tom Cruise is a super spy in Mission Impossible anything? And Julia Roberts is a woman with outgrown roots in August: Osage County? (Others I can believe more easily, like Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn as overgrown interns, or Jennifer Lawrence as a mockingjay.) I thought this casting was ridiculous.
Then Gravity opened in North America, and the reviews were almost unanimously good. So three days after it opened, I went. It blew my mind. Then, one month later (without really meaning to), I saw it again. Despite knowing how every twist played out, it was as riveting and stressful as the first time.
You probably already know the plot: Sandra Bullock’s character, a medical engineer on her first (and perhaps only) mission, gets lost in space, and has to figure out how to get home.
Enough about that. Gravity is worth seeing for the following reasons:
- The 3D effect is quietly powerful. It's not gimmicky or overly flashy, and it makes the film even more compelling.
- The views of the earth and space are computer generated, sure, but they are impressive, and almost feel real.
- The use of sound, and silence, is intense. Some of the most violent moments are the quietist, which makes them all the more thrilling.
- Seeing Sandra Bullock in space (inside of space stations and landing pods, outside the shuttle, hurdling through space) almost makes me feel like I know have a more thorough understanding of what it’s like to be in space. (And certainly enough of one to know I never want to be there.)
Yes, it’s a stressful film. But it’s not too heavy to be fun; fun in an edge-of-your-seat kind of way. And with so much to offer outside the realm of ‘normal’ cinema (see above), well worth the crazy ride. It's a cool film.
Gravity opens in the UK on Friday, and is in theatres in North America pretty much everywhere.