Review: The Walk
Hope you don't mind heights.
I don't consider myself a person that's officially afraid of heights. Do I enjoy them? Not really. But being in tall buildings doesn't freak me out. That being said, watching this movie made me squirm just about as much as I would during a gory horror movie. They manage to make you feel like you're really that high up.
Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a street performer who love to walk the high wire. One day he sees a picture of the under construction twin towers at the World Trade Center in New York City and decides that's where he wants to hang his wire. He trains with Papa Rudy (Ben Kingsley) and soon, along with his girlfriend Annie (Charlotte Le Bon) and two friends Jean-Louis (Clemont Sibony) and Jeff (Caesar Domboy) they are off to New York to attempt to pull off this heist and gain a few more accomplices on the way.
I think one of the fears many had going in was that this was going to be unnecessary after the excellent 2008 documentary Man on Wire covered the same subject. I don't think it is, more people will see a feature over a doc and the film still tells Petit's story well. It's very theatrical, narrated by Petit as he stands on top of the Statue of Liberty, but it works for someone as charismatic as Joseph Gordon-Levitt. (and Petit himself, really) I thought JGL is wonderful here (bias, what bias?) he nails the accent and captured Petit well. He even trained with him to wire walk in preparation for the film.
The visual effects in this film are stunning, like I said in my opener about how it makes you feel as if you are really that high up. The only thing that doesn't work is this terrible CGI bird they included during his walk, it looked awful and I wish they would've scrapped it. The film should ride this all the way to the Oscar nominations, but if they don't get one, that stupid bird did them in. I wish JGL would get a nomination too, he's so good here.
I couldn't help but feel like this also served as a love letter to the twin towers. Seeing them again was something else.
Memorable Quote: "Why would you use that word?" - Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt)