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The Walk Review


Robert Zemeckis's latest cinematic offering deserves to be seen on the biggest screen you can find. IMAX would the preferred choice. However, only seek out the above if you're brave and have a stomach for heights.  If the thoughts of climbing on top of the couch to get a spider off the ceiling sends shivers down your spine, then it may be best to give The Walk a miss.

And missing The Walk would certainly be a shame. Based on the true story of French maniac high wire artist, Philippe Petit, the movie focuses on his biggest and highest, high wire stunt. Walking between the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in lower Manhattan, way back in 1974.

The movie is a bit thin on the ground when it comes to character development and story, but with a likeable cast, especially a mesmerising Joseph Gordon-Levitt, it's a problem that most audiences will be willing to forget. Make no mistake about it, The Walk is all about the walk. While the journey to the top of Manhattan isn't exactly memorable, the movie does move at a fairly blistering pace and covers a lot of ground in the process. And there lies the problem to one extent. Petit's character is given a back story, albeit told fantastically and uniquely from the top of the Statue of Liberty, but it seems ever so rushed and with Gordon-Levitt offering a performance that is really captivating.

Sir Ben Kingsley plays along in support, in a limited role and while his performance is adequate, his accent is truly atrocious. One minute it's Czech, the next English, the next? Who knows. While the rest of the cast, mainly made up of Petit's accomplices are primarily low-profile actors, James Badge Dale and Ben Schwartz, are drastically undeveloped, but are very convincing and likeable. In fact, the entire cast, extras and all are nothing but authentic and convincing. 
While the cast gripes may seem like major ones, they, like the fluffed out story which crams a lot of sporadic backstory to fill the 2 hour running time, are also forgivable. 

Once the finale kicks off and Petit takes his first step onto the wire, high above Manhattan's financial district, combined with a wonderful score from Alan Silvestri, audiences will really have to strap on their own safety harness. Robert Zemeckis has always been a director who has complete command of his camera and cinematographer and The Walk is no exception. Genuinely, watching Petit cross back and forth multiple times, is a dizzying and sickening experience. Audiences will find themselves saying "Christ Petit, once would have been enough". Zemeckis's vision here, in the finale at least, is truly hypnotic and something that you will have never experienced before. It's about as close as most of us will ever get to doing something that insane, nearly 1500 feet in the air. 

The Walk has it's problems, but all are forgivable. Bring a safety harness and prepare to get your breath taken away!

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The Movie Bit: The Walk Review
The Walk Review
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