Gravity is the story of Sandra Bullock, as Dr. Ryan Stone, and George Clooney, as Matt Kowalsky, as they work together to try and survive after an accident leaves them adrift in outer space.
My initial reaction after watching this film was just, “eh”. I wasn’t overly thrilled with it, but I didn’t feel it was a complete waste of my time either.
The story starts out in space with Dr. Stone and Kowalsky floating around their spaceship; Dr. Stone making repairs to the ship and Kowalsky attempting to set a world record for minutes spent treading in space. There’s no backstory… No setup… Nothing… Okay. So then, an emergency abort mission is called in through Kowalsky and Dr. Stone’s headsets from Mission Control in Houston and they’re told to return to the ship immediately. Right from the get go, our main characters lives are in immediate danger and we’re all of a sudden supposed to care about these characters without knowing anything about them? That was problem number one for me.
I did like Dr. Ryan and Kowalsky as characters, but without a backstory, I didn’t have much reason to care for their well-bring. That may sound harsh, but, let’s face it, caring about a character is the essence of a movie. When you connect with a character on an emotional level and something tragic happens, you’re able to empathize with that person as though it’s happening to you. This movie just skimmed right over that part.
Gravity was almost like a crossword puzzle to me; there were blanks that needed to be filled in. The lines of the characters fed the plot right to our ears- not giving us, the audience, a chance to think for ourselves; this is known as exposition. Personally I would have preferred a more creative way of receiving the back-story on the film’s two main characters. Especially, since we only know them as astronauts in space.
Although I understood each theme of the film, it felt as though they, too, were spoon fed to the audience. Overall, I think it had good vision, but the execution was not all there for me.
I will say it’s very eerie watching these characters interact in space. The dead silence spoke louder than any words could have; but again, its impact was lost the moment the characters also commented on it. As if we couldn’t figure it out ourselves…
As I was once told, “A good film should be able to be told no matter where the characters are. In a desert, on a ship, or in prison. Doesn’t matter.” The pure truth of Gravity is this: In my opinion, I don’t think this film would’ve survived in any other setting; and that’s a problem. Space played a big part in this film, but I think the filmmakers relied on it too much.
What I Liked:
1. The Idea: As I said in the review, the skeleton of the film was there and the foundation was laid, the building was just never built correctly. But it was a fascinating idea.
2. The Camera: I don’t know HOW they did it, but I thought I was in space for 90 minutes. It was gorgeous and very convincing. I saw it in 3D and it’s definitely worth the few extra dollars. SIDE NOTE: If you are prone to motion sickness, be careful. There’s more spinning than the teacup ride at Walt Disney World.
3. The Acting: Bullock and Clooney’s performances were both very good. It was unfortunate the director didn’t do their acting skills justice.
What I Didn’t Like:
1. Lack of Back story: I can’t stress this enough. If there’s nothing giving the audience a reason to care, it’s a forgettable film.
2. The Dream: Really? That was a dream? What was the point? So she realized how to overcome the problem? Again, forced information. And that’s a sub point I didn’t like, the force-fed information. It infested this film and ultimately weakened it.
3. The Ending: I’m talking the end, end. I won’t spoil it, but when you see it, you’ll wonder, “REALLY?! Of ALL places?!” I’m trying to stay as vague as possible.
Go see it? I would say it was worth my time, but it may not be worth the price of a movie ticket. If you do decide to go see it, go all out, get the 3D tickets.
An Oscar nod? There is a lot of stir about Oscar nods for both Bullock and Clooney and possibly Emmanuel Lubezki for his cinematography work. None of which surprises me as I applauded all three of their work!
Overall Rating: 2.5/4 Stars
These are my thoughts… Not yours!
Brian ‘bIG rED’ Woodworth