Review: Gravity (2013)


Gravity is mesmerizing, and it’s probably as close as you’re ever going to get to outer space. I saw Alfonso Cuarón’s sci-fi thriller in IMAX 3D, therefore, that’s the version of the film I’m going to review. Honestly, I can’t imagine seeing this movie any other way.

George Clooney plays Matt Kowalsky in the film. He’s a veteran astronaut in command of his last flight before retiring. Along for the ride is Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission. Their seemingly routine spacewalk quickly becomes a fight for survival when their shuttle is destroyed by debris from a Russian satellite that’s been blown to pieces. The two are completely alone – tethered to nothing but each other.

I’ll be the first to admit, the trailers for Gravity do it absolutely no justice. I thought it looked tedious and wondered how possibly a film about a woman floating around in space could be entertaining. Of course, there’s much more to the movie than just that. Aside from breathtaking visuals and heavenly sound effects, a majority of the movie is fueled by a marvelous performance from Sandra Bullock. On the outside, she’s tough-as-nails. She’s very serious about her work, and she uses her career to bury her tragic past. Being stranded, however, puts her face to face with her inner demons, and her vulnerability slowly comes to surface as the film progresses.

While Clooney plays the part of Kowalsky well, his performance isn’t anything out of the ordinary. It’s George Clooney playing himself. In addition, his dialogue is a bit over-the-top and lacks realism in certain scenes. Bullock’s character is fearful for her life, and her actions as well as her words show it. Clooney’s character, on the other hand, never seizes to remain positive. It’s actually quite irritating at times. You’re about to die, man! We aren’t going to hold it against you if you want to shed a tear or two. Bullock’s character does give us some water works, and in IMAX 3D, that means there were tears floating all around the auditorium. It was actually a very emotional moment for the audience as well.

Moving on, I’m rarely willing to spend the extra money to see a motion picture in 3D, let alone shell out even more of my hard-earned cash to see it in IMAX 3D. Most filmmakers just don’t utilize the technology properly. Even the few films that are shot specifically for an IMAX 3D release come out lackluster in terms of the visuals. With Gravity, the filmmakers got it right. Aside from the 72 degree temperature in the auditorium, I really felt like I was in space, right next to Bullock and Clooney through their heart-stopping journey. It was an incredible experience and well worth the higher ticket price. While it’s an excellent motion picture anyway you watch it, seeing it in IMAX 3D will amplify the experience.

Gravity is easily the best film I’ve seen so far this year. It consists of some of the most spectacular visual effects I’ve ever seen and some of the most astonishing sound effects I’ve ever heard. The story is deeply compelling with a superb performance from Sandra Bullock. Long story short, you have to see this film!