From the trailers, Gravity looked sort-of interesting. In the way that Moon looked sort-of interesting. I went and saw Moon, and really liked it.
A lot of people have been seeing Gravity, and according to Rotten Tomatoes anyway, they've really liked it.
So I ponied up twenty bucks, and saw it in IMAX 3D. I figured that way I'd get the best experience out of it.
Am I missing something?
Okay... the movie looks amazing. Really amazing. The 3D works as well as I've ever seen in a feature film.
Sandra Bullock gave an outstanding performance. So much so that I kept forgetting it was Sandra Bullock. That's a good thing. I'm sure she'll win a Golden Globe or something.
But I just never really got into the film. I always felt I was watching a film... not taking part in the story. Like those early IMAX films from the 70's. Remember those? Where the sole purpose was to wow you with IMAX? Yeah. That's what I felt Gravity was like.
Part of the problem was George Clooney. They should have put someone, anyone else in that role. Because the problem with George Clooney is he's always George Clooney. And that's fine, for fluff like Ocean's 11 (I'll admit... I'll usually watch it or one of its sequels when they're on TV, and frankly, I wouldn't mind seeing them do an Ocean's 14), but for something like this, you want an actor who will disappear into the role. Not call attention to himself. It felt like stunt casting. Putting someone in there to be a box office draw - not because he was a good fit for the role.
But Clooney was actually only a small part of the problem I had with the film. The main problem I had with it, was that it was completely ridiculous. Now, it's set up in such a way that you expect it to be somewhat realistic. And they do a pretty good job of making you believe they're in space and zero gravity. Mostly. There are some parts of the film where it doesn't quite work or make sense, but that didn't bother me as much as it has some people (mostly astrophysicists, it would seem).
No, it wasn't the physics, but just the absolute preposterousness of the situations in the film, that just build and build past the point of belief. At some point, as Sandra's character was getting bounced around from one precarious situation to another, I started thinking to myself, "Okay... they did that. What's next?"
Frankly, by the end of the film, when she's swimming away from the capsule, if the seaweed didn't entangle her, or the parachute drown her, I was fully expecting her to pull herself up on shore, and either get hit by a bus, or discover she was on Gilligan's Island.
Gravity really felt like a director had discovered a way to make space look really neat, and decided to take elements from 2001: A Space Odyssey and Apollo 13 (both far superior films), and make a demo reel out of it. I just couldn't get into it. Despite the really incredible effects, the effective use of 3D, and Sandra Bullock's performance, the story was just, to put it bluntly, silly. And I got to a certain point in the film, where it didn't matter anymore if she got out of her situation or not, because I was just tired of being spoon-fed yet-another ridiculous, impossible situation, or getting whipped around by the endlessly spinning camera shots. (Or having my eardrums assaulted by the soundtrack. Considering Gravity starts off by pointing out you can't hear anything in space, this is one loud movie.)
I would have liked to have liked the film more. I certainly was impressed with how it looked (although the screen in the theater I was at was dirty, so any brightly-lit scenes showed dirt on them as well... I hate movie theaters). And I really liked what Sandra Bullock was able to do with what she was given. But what she was given, was dropped into the middle of a story that just didn't work.
I was expecting better. Something with a more engaging, engrossing story. Something more believable. Or at least less ridiculous. This seemed more like a video game. Lara Croft in outer space. Or maybe Indiana Jones and the Nuke-proof-fridge.
Gravity gets a 5/10.
But it looked great.
Oh, and if I ever went into space... I wouldn't keep taking my stupid helmet off.