By Nico Beland
Movie Review: A (3 ½ stars)
Acclaimed director, Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future trilogy, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Flight) joins forces with Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, Looper) to bring the incredible true story of high-wire artist, Philippe Petit and his life-changing journey to walk across the towers of the World Trade Center to life in The Walk. Zemeckis’ fifth 3D movie and his first live-action 3D movie if I’m not mistaking, and like other immersive 3D films, Avatar, Hugo, and Gravity, it’s one of those 3D experiences that you have to see in 3D to believe, specifically IMAX 3D.
Watching it on IMAX 3D makes it feel like you’re right there on the wire with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and it’s thrilling and at the same time completely insane. Also from what I read about the film, it’s pretty faithful to the original book written on the actual event that occurred in 1973.
Since childhood, French high-wire artist, Philippe Petit (Levitt) dreams of becoming an amazing high-wire performer like his hero, Papa Rudy (Ben Kingsley-Gandhi, Schindler’s List, Iron Man 3).
Unfortunately after several encounters with the police, his dream of being recognized as an incredible wire performer is diminishing. That is until he learns about a monumental building being constructed in New York City, the World Trade Center; 110 stories tall and soon to become a landmark of the city.
Upon reading about the construction of the World Trade Center, Philippe may have found his destiny; he is going to attach his high wire across the two towers of the World Trade Center and walk across it. So with the aid of Papa Rudy, French street performer, Annie Allix (Charlotte Le Bon-The Hundred-Foot Journey), and crew members, Albert (Ben Schwartz-The Other Guys, Turbo, This Is Where I Leave You) and Barry Greenhouse (Steve Valentine-Mars Attacks, Spider-Man 3, A Christmas Carol), Philippe will do everything he can to make it to the World Trade Center, walk across the towers, and make history against all costs.
Overall, The Walk is quite a gripping 3D thrill ride, lots of extreme life or death situations, plans and strategies so insane they may or may not work, and a strong performance by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who delivers a pretty decent French accent for his Philippe character. Besides Levitt, the rest of the cast does a great job portraying their characters, especially Kingsley as Papa Rudy, he should receive an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor or something like that; this guy’s got talent.
And of course we have the 3D, and like I said before, it’s not used as a gimmick to make money at the box office, it’s used to its advantage and becomes possibly the next Avatar or Gravity. If you’re watching it in IMAX 3D, it puts you right on the wire, it’s both exciting and a bit nauseous, if you get motion sickness when watching movies; this isn’t your flick.
When you’re just watching it as a movie, the movie is decent, but when 3D is put into it, it’s really cool, one of Zemeckis’ best 3D movies since The Polar Express and Beowulf. The movie pretty much banks on the usage of 3D, which isn’t a bad thing, it’s not used as a gimmick here, it transforms the movie into an experience, a massive IMAX 3D experience of a “Walk” that needs to be seen to believe.