Film Review: Gravity (2103)

Heavily hyped space opera starring bankable actors doesn’t disappoint on a visual level, but I remain not terribly impressed with the thin story line and predictable plot.

Heavy pre-debut media machinations such as: “life-altering,” “stunning,” “A great leap forward in film making” need to be taken with a liberal dose of perspective.  There’s nothing in “Gravity”, (the sacrifice of one to save the other, hypoxic hallucinations generating sudden revelations to survive rising from the ashes of despair), that hasn’t been done endlessly before.

Yes, the visual effects are really world class, but in the end this film chronicles two people floating in space for an hour and a half set in very visual and loud amusement park destruction derby. There’s only so much actors can do with that before getting pretty predictably embellished. Sandra Bullock stripping down to her skivvies as a tribute to Sigourney Weaver in “Alien” (1979).

Aside from the visual effects, the film undercuts the human element by using Sandra bullock as a “woman-in-distress” as a set-up for the next pyrotechnic blowout accompanied by a mercilessly loud sound track. If you’re left speechless is more likely because of sensory overload than interacting with the actors.

All that said, “Gravity” masterfully overwhelms the senses.  The suspense is on a par with but not as consistent and pervasive as “Aliens” (1986). It cannot be compared to “2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) filmed 45 years earlier.

Best scenes:  The beauty of the earth from 600 kilometers above.

Not-so-best part: The side story of Ryan Stone’s child- goes nowhere.

Cameo:  Ed Harris as the voice of Houston.

I give this 3.5 of 5 damnations by faint praise. Definitely must be seen on IMAX/3D.  Don’t wait for it to come on TV.

Anxiously awaited: “Captain Phillips”.




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