Holy mole, if you have not seen this one for yourself just yet, you need to do yourself a favor and check out the next available showing of “Gravity” as soon as possible. And if you like 3D, then go ahead and drop the extra few bucks on the 3D screening because this is one of the very few movies that uses this gimmick very well. But in the meantime, just go see “Gravity” and know that I love it.
I mean, woah, what a movie. Containing a very simple story structure that proves you don’t need overplotting to make a story interesting, “Gravity” is a tale of survival in outer space and that’s pretty much it. A non-professional doctor (Sandra Bullock) is trained to do a space walk in order to install a new program into the Hubble telescope, accompanied by a veteran astronaut (George Clooney), and these two become stranded when debris from an exploded satellite causes a chain reaction that sends pieces of space debris flying at them, destroying their Explorer shuttle and leaving them with no way home. So the whole movie is how these people try to survive in space and how the hell they try to get back to Earth.
Leading up to the release of this movie, it is really incredible how often I heard people muse about this movie’s story and plot, wondering how they could possibly “stretch” out this premise to a feature length movie. I just couldn’t understand these people and their concerns because that is enough of a hook to make me WANT to see this film. Exactly HOW were they doing to pull this off? What were they going to do to make this a compelling and interesting movie from start to finish, or will there be boring parts of just floating in space?
And sure enough after seeing this movie, it really is a marvel of storytelling mastery to see how they pulled this off and indeed made this entire film enthralling from opening credits to closing credits. The whole story is linear, there are no flashbacks, flash forwards or any other cutaways, we never cut to the Houston Command Center panicking and trying to communicate with the astronauts, we don’t see any news broadcasts or anything like that which could possibly take us away from our main characters, and despite this (or maybe because of) this straightforwardness, “Gravity” grabs a hold of you tightly and does not let go, as we get to see Murphy’s Law in horrible action, which just compounds the horrors of being stranded in outer space like a swimmer adrift in the middle of the ocean. The only way being stranded in the ocean is worse than being stranded in outer space is because there aren’t any space sharks looking for a meal. Imagine if there were space sharks? I’d see THAT movie.
But “Gravity” doesn’t need space sharks because there is enough peril at every turn, which makes for a white-knuckler of a movie. There is no way anyone can watch this thing and be relaxed the whole time, the effects work is just too convincing and the recreation of astronauts in outer space is so realistic that it allows us Earthbound land lubbers to actually see and experience what a space walk would be like, let alone one that goes so horribly wrong.
And while the 3D gimmick here does not really add anything to the actual story (because 3D is just a gimmick and doesn’t add much to movies anyway), it does help emphasize the weightlessness of space, as the 3D is used to accentuate the floating feeling of anti-gravity and it is in the end pretty neat. Now just like all other 3D movies, the 3D effect fades to the background as I forgot I was even watching a movie in 3D halfway through the film, and instead by the end I just felt like I was watching a movie with sunglasses on, which is never optimal. So if you are a 3D fan, see this movie in 3D because it is just about as well done as possible, but if you are not a fan of the gimmick, then this movie won’t do much to change your mind.
How many other ways can I say this movie is great? The effects are astounding, the acting is top notch, it has a tight story and the whole movie flies by because it is just so tense and well done. What else do you need? “Gravity” is an insta-classic, and I can’t wait to see this thing again!