• Review: The Walk (2015)

    From David N. Butterworth@21:1/5 to All on Sun Feb 14 10:36:09 2016
    THE WALK (2015)
    A film review by David N. Butterworth
    Copyright 2016 David N. Butterworth

    *** (out of ****)

    On the morning of August 7, 1974, French high-wire artist Philippe Petit
    walked across a cable strung between the north and south towers of the under-construction, but nearly-completed World Trade Center. His
    death-defying feat was immortalized 29 years later in an excellent
    children's picture book by Mordicai Gerstein entitled "The Man Who Walked Between the Towers," and later still in the 2008 Oscar-winning documentary
    "Man on Wire." Robert Zemeckis ("Forrest Gump," "Back to the Future,"
    "Cast Away") now brings Petit's incredible story back to the screen, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt ("Inception," "Looper," "Don Jon") as the Gallic
    daredevil who wowed Manhattanites--and the world--with his illegal antics a quarter of a mile above the ground. The film's initial hippie whimsy and overexuberant palette, fourth-wall narrated by a convincingly-accented Gordon-Levitt hanging from the Statue of Liberty's torch, soon give way to
    "le coup" itself. And it's a fascinating and sweaty-palmed account of how Petit and his accomplices staged this extraordinary exploit--casing the
    joint, smuggling equipment onto the upper floors, stringing the cable, and
    the insane balancing act itself, as Petit steps out into nothingness with
    only a custom-made 8-meter pole for company. The film's crowning
    achievement, of course, is its stunning recreation of the iconic
    skyscrapers using advanced digital technology. Their presence is nothing
    less than chilling, whether dominating the New York City skyline in long
    shot or detailed from within, atop, or below. "The Walk" may keep Petit in focus, but it's the Twin Towers that loom large in Zemeckis's powerful

    David N. Butterworth

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