Deceptively simple and gloriously imaginative, "Gravity" raises space movies to a completely new standard. The film comes from Alfonso Cuarón who launches his name into stardom simply because of the ingenuity he shows.
"Gravity" opens to a team of astronauts in orbit around Earth. They are participating in what seems like a routine mission; but the audience knows what's coming...that is, if the audience hasn't been living in a hole for the last six months. Let's just say that we all know it's not going to be routine...I'll leave the rest up to you.
It's in the first shot, "Gravity" introduces the silence and stillness of space. Much like "2001: A Space Odyssey", this film revels in the quietness of the void. It's not quite as stifling as Kubrick's film, but it's ten times as electrifying.
That first shot, which will (predication time) go down in film history, proves the worth of cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki (Malick's regular, and worthy of an Oscar...I think he'll get it this year) and Cuarón's visual effects team.
Before its release, "Gravity" was shown to NASA astronauts and engineers and the result, as with most of its critics and audience, was a resounding wow! Praised for its ingenuity and reality, "Gravity" has already changed the definition of "epic" movies...I pity those to come out in the next year—they will only be compared to this film.
On IMDb.com, "Gravity" only has seven listed in the cast. But scroll down a little farther and you will see hundreds upon hundreds of names in the visual effects department...no words can aptly describe how intoxicating and hypnotizing the effects of this film are.
Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and team leader Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) will find themselves trapped in space with their instincts helping them none—space is a prison.
To be fair, the film isn't perfect. Backstories that are unnecessary fill up time and not all of the lines are free of cliches. Cuarón perhaps isn't the most mature director.
But let's be honest, who is going to see this movie and scrutinize the dialogue and the character development?
"Gravity" should be looked at as an astounding feat in film, because that's what it is.
To take such a simple premise and stretch into a hour-and-a-half space opus that drains the viewer of its energy is fearless in its own way.
Cuarón and his son Jonás wrote the screenplay together—what an amazing world they have created!
"Gravity" plays like every astronaut's nightmare. If it can go wrong...it will go wrong. I think that Murphy would have really enjoyed this movie.
I also think that maybe I'm being too snarky.
Cuarón's world is a place of terror and thrill and "Gravity" provides the best escape from everyday life that has been released in a long, long time. This just may be the most perfectly entertaining movie. You will find no dull moments.
"Gravity" also showcases the evolution of 3D, which began its renaissance with James Cameron's "Avatar". The next movie to be heralded as the best achievement with the increasingly artistic technology was Martin Scorsese's "Hugo". But leave it to Ang Lee to place the icing on the cake with "Life of Pi"...a movie that, rightfully, won Lee his second Oscar.
Then comes "Gravity" which steps above its contemporaries. If you're going to see a movie in 3D, see this one.
"Gravity" buries you in its world. You may not breathe for the entire film.
"Gravity" is well-deserving of all the praise that it's receiving. It's one of the year's best films and it's simply a privilege to see.
I said it before, the film isn't perfect...but who cares?
I'll leave you with this: go see "Gravity" in theaters and go see it in 3D. You won't regret it.
"Gravity" is a mesmerizing thrill-ride.
Score: 4 out of 4 stars