The Walk is the story of French high-wire artist Philippe Petit’s walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Center in 1974. When I first heard about this movie I was intrigued the main actor involved (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), the director (Robert Zemeckis), and the story were all up my alley. What drove this one home though was when I found out it would be shot in 3D IMAX to convey the feeling of being on the rope with Petit. I loved The Walk it was a true experience it made going to the movies an event.
The Walk pulls off the use of 3D perfectly. I am not a fan of 3D the last time I wanted to see a movie using it was Avatar. Although once I heard that they were going to use the 3D and Imax screen to convey being on the tightrope I knew I had to see this movie in the theater. Robert Zemeckis directs this like a roller coaster slowly building up to the top than bombarding you with the revelation you are 110 stories up. He gradually raises you with some of the cliché uses of 3D here and there, but they never came of as cheap tactics. Once the final act begins you are completely entrenched in what you’re seeing. I found myself literally grasping onto arms rails at times. Joseph Gordon-Levitt also gives a great performance. Philippe Petit is a complex character who is staring at the edge of madness, but is still likeable. Levitt plays this up well and walks the line between maddening and whimsical. He makes you believe that he can succeed, but also plays up the moments when he doubts himself and you genuinely feel dread for what might happen. The only problem with the movie is that many of the background characters are just that background you never really feel anything for them one way or the other. They could have just had a bunch of nameless henchman and you would be just as engaged. Other than that and at times the movie can’t decide if it wants to be a caper flick or a dramatic comedy it’s all but perfect.
At the end of the day The Walk is a story about love. Love of art, the love of doing something extraordinary, a love of New York, and finally a love of the Twin Towers. The towers are almost a character in their own right. Unlike the secondary characters the towers almost feel like they are on the same level as Jospeh Gordon-Levitt. There is a respect for them coming from the actors and the way they are recreated. The movie creates an air of awe about them every time they show the top looking down you know you’re witnessing something special. If you really want to see a movie that makes going to the movies worth it The Walk is that movie. This is a film that will make you remember why we love to go to the movies, and that we can still be impressed.
The Walk is in Movie Theaters Now.