Gravity – Movie Review

movie reviewFor this one I avoided spoilers as much as possible. I saw the trailers and that’s it. I looked at the critic’s scores for the movie and was very pumped to see this film. The first time I heard about it was probably two years ago. I’m a huge fan of Alfonso Cuarón’s “Children Of Men” and checked him for new projects. “Gravity” was the name of his new project. After reading a little, it was clear that it’s set in space. I found that pretty much awesome since I’m definitely a space fan. Now after a long time waiting, the movie is finally out and I went seeing it.

I don’t know why but I had no big expectations going into this film. I just wanted some great images and a somewhat interesting story to go along with. What I got was a load lot more than I expected. This movie makes you really appreciate the work astronauts do out there! They do a hell of a job! And astronauts is what this movie is about. We start with Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) and a third astronaut. All three of them are in space to repair the Hubble Telescope. Stone is a space first timer while Kowalski is the veteran in the crew and on his last mission. Kowalski is having fun with his jetpack while the repairs go along well, when suddenly a message comes in, that a russian satellite got destroyed. Now the debris of said russian satellite starts to spread and initiates a chain reaction of more and more satellites getting destroyed. With the debris field getting larger and larger our astronaut friends become a target too. They cannot manage to pack things in time and get hit by the field of scrap metal satellite parts. The shuttle gets destroyed, along with its crew, and Stone is spinning away from the crashsite and into the depths of space. She gets rescued by Kowalski and both figure out a plan to get back to earth. First stop… the ISS.

In this day and age it’s very hard to stumble uppon a commercially successful movie that is not only successful but also does everything right that a movie should do right. This is a movie made for the big screen. I don’t think this movie will work as well on a usual home flatscreen as it did on the big theater screen. We also don’t see a lot of cuts. No doubts about that there are cuts… but they are hidden. So that most of the movie looks as if it’s done in a single take. That creates an impressive feeling of being there with the characters of the movie. Especially the opening scene goes almost 20 minutes without a single cut! That’s how you capture your audience! That’s how you suck them into your world! That’s how you establish your world and the atmosphere!

Sandra Bullock is amazing! For me she was just always there and I appreciated her work and skills. But I never saw her really amaze me. She certainly did in this movie. Yeah, Clooney is in it, but he doesn’t play a too big part. Although I must admit that the scenes he had, he did perfectly fine. It’s Sandra Bullock’s work that carries the movie though. She’s the one we root for and she’s the one we want to have a happy ending. From my point of view her character goes through three stages in this movie. In the first one she’s the newbie in space. She doesn’t have much control about what she’s doing. She is fearful and has a hard time keeping everything under control. She is pretty much what all the audience would be in space. Almost helpless. Especially when everything around you goes to hell. Then we come to the second act of the film and we see her character figuring out the problems and fighting to get back home. We also learn some details about the characters past. A past that has some very bitter moments. In the third act we can see her as a reborn being. Someone who grew stronger through the events overcome. Someone who will never ever give up again. I read that Angelina Jolie was first choice for the part and dear lord in heaven I’m glad it became Sandra Bullock! She did an amazing job and certainly deserves an Oscar nomination for that performance! Jolie surely is a fine actress in certain roles. But for this one you needed someone who is also very natural and down to earth. Sandra Bullock was perfect.

If there is one little downside to this movie then it would be the symbolism that is hidden in the images every now and then. But that’s really actually not a complaint and much more a remark. In some parts it feels as if they used a visual sledgehammer and said “get it? get it?”. I did get it. It’s all about Ryan Stone being born again. Leaving all past bad things behind and try to make the best of what’s there now. The last scene with the water and her crawling on the beach is literally a symbol of birth. Or in an earlier scene where she’s floating in a fetus like position, which I guess marks the start of her transformation of seeing and living things differently. Things like this were a little too obvious but in no way hurt the movie at all. It gives the movie a deeper meaning and that’s not a bad thing.

I really hope this movie will make a lot of money. And it fortunately kinda looks like it does. Like I mentioned earlier, this movie lives and breathes with the exceptionally well camera work, done throughout the movie. Everything slow, fluid and almost no cuts. Certainly a very big challenge for the VFX crews working on this movie. A really crazy attention to detail going on in this movie. Especially the simulation of a zero g environment must have been amazingly hard. But they managed to pull it off. It looks and feels realistic in every single frame of this film. Well placed action sequences balance the movie with the quiet parts that bring us closer to the main character and her problems. There we should also have our technical Oscar nominations for camera and VFX. I seriously cannot see a single part to nitpick when it comes to the belivablity of this movie. A benchmak that no other space film will get close to any time soon.

Ultimately… what else to say than GO WATCH THIS MOVIE ON A AS BIG AS POSSIBLE SCREEN! Oh yeah, the 3d in this movie really was good!

Go see it!

8.8/10

Gravity on IMDb

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