In honor of the Academy Awards tonight, I think it is time to drop my review of Gravity. Gravity is being hyped as one of the greatest movies ever made. It made a ton of money last summer and critics practically idolized it. Does Gravity live up to its hype?
We start off...in space. We slowly move in on our main characters: Ryan Stone (played by Sandra Bullock), Matt Kowalski (played by George Clooney) and crewman number 3 (yes there is a reason.) The 3 astronauts are in the middle of a routine mission on a satellite, this being Kowalski's last mission before retirement, when they receive grave news. The Russians have destroyed one of their satellites via missile explosion (seriously?) and the debris is starting to continually rotate the planet in a storm of metal. (seriously?) The debris storm reaches our crew and destroys their station and kills off crewman number 3. Kowalski and Stone now need to regroup and find a way to get back to Earth before they die in the cold emptiness of space. Will they make it home?
Since this is such a big movie, I won't spoil much here, in case you haven't seen it. But this is more an experience of survival than a movie. You really feel like you are out there with these characters at times, mostly when they are out in space. And the first half of the movie focuses more on this aspect. The moments when they are floating space are the best part of this movie. You can really feel the emptiness and suspense these scenes create and it is impressive. The first camera shot of the movie lasts for like 15 minutes with no cuts. Rarely does a movie attempt something like this, and when done right, it pays off. It is friggin awesome in this movie. And there are a lot of long shots like this throughout the movie. There are also a couple of cool first-person shots from Stone's perspective, which aide that feeling of immersion you get in Gravity's better scenes. So, as you can tell, I really liked the special effects and it is for this I recommend at least 1 viewing.
I also liked George Clooney in this movie. Granted, his character is basically just George Clooney as an astronaut, but that is likeable.
Now, I know she is up for an academy award, and she has had roles I enjoyed her in, but Sandra Bullock did nothing for me in this movie. In fact, I thought she was actually a negative. Her character is given little development before we are supposed to care about her survival, and when we start to delve in, we get this whole deal about a great loss she had and how she needs to overcome the fear of this loss and it is just unnecessary. If they had just left out this whole point, she might've been more likeable. Once this story took precedence, Gravity became less of a survival flick and became a story of Stone overcoming her social anxiety. I mean, really? Did we really need this? For me, it felt a bit forced.
Speaking of forced, there is a moment of symbolism in Gravity that is so bad, and so forced, and so ridiculous, that it is face palm worthy. I actually heard someone face palm in the theatre. The moment is spoiled on the cover of the 2-disc DVD special edition if you want to see it, but prepare for ridiculousness.
Also, there are some pretty ridiculous moments throughout the movie, especially in the 2nd half. Again, I can't spoil them here, but these are some pretty stupid moments. Let us just say if you go into space, bring a fire extinguisher. Earlier I commented on the Russians blowing up their satellite and the debris being a problem. I'm no science or political expert, just to state. But, if This is how governments handle getting rid of their equipment, that is pretty dangerous, and can debris actually do that? Actually just keep rotating around the planet like that at such velocity without descending?
Overall, I am glad I saw Gravity, but it is definitely NOT what critics are making it out to be. The stuff that is good, is really good. The effects are impressive and the movie captures some really tense moments stupendously. But Bullock's performance is not that great and takes up a lot of the film, and the stupid moments are groan-inducing. So, I do recommend watching it once, but after that, it doesn't matter that much to me. I've seen better movies, I've seen worst movies. It certainly isn't the best movie of 2013, and may be one of the most over-hyped movies I've ever seen.
I give Gravity 3 bandwagons out of 5