By Chuck Harris
From the moment the lights go down, the movie “Gravity” pulls viewers into the depths of space. Right off, we are given a few basic, terrifying facts about just how dangerous it is: temperatures can fluctuate between minus 260 to over 150 degrees, there is no sound and there is no oxygen. In other words, human life is impossible to sustain without precise safety measures.
Director Alfonso Cuarón’s first feature since 2006’s “Children of Men” stars Sandra Bullock as Dr. Ryan Stone, a medical engineer on her first space mission, alongside George Clooney as Matt Kowalski, a playful astronaut on his last space mission before retirement.
On a spacewalk outside their shuttle, debris from a Russian satellite careens around the planet toward them in the form of speeding scrap bullets. The peaceful, serene scene above Earth is brutally transformed into any aspiring astronaut’s worst nightmare: a harrowing 13 minute opening scene that leaves the audience with a sense of shock and mouth-gaping awe just after they were beginning to get comfortable.
In an increasingly thrilling manner, the two unfortunate souls have to survive in the hopelessly foreboding environment while making their way to safety.
Whether you are a fan of Sandra Bullock or not, it is obvious that she gave it her all; she wins over your heart with her innocent and fearful personality. I was worried that her entire performance would consist of panting and screaming as she twirls through the dark depths of space, but she actually has scenes of dialogue where we learn more about her.
While Bullock performs with a serious demeanor, Clooney acts as, well…George Clooney — an appealing, witty colleague who can solidify any friendship through his looks and personality. Clooney’s character is mainly there for comic relief.
My biggest complaint is in the script. Some think awkward silences in movies are genius, but I would have liked a little more dialogue. There’s no denying its sparseness. Personally, the script was great until about halfway through the movie.
There was one scene in particular that I thought they could have done without. It was obnoxious, and didn’t go with the rest of the movie (I found out later that George Clooney added the scene himself).
The main reason people will go see this film is for the out-of-this-world visuals (literally). See it in 3D, or don’t bother going at all. I know that might be asking a lot of college students, but this movie is worth spending a little extra.
The 3D images made me feel as if I was drifting along in space with the characters. This is an example of 3D being used as a tool to enhance the story. When these characters are thrown into danger, it becomes hard to breathe because you feel as though you are right there with them.
“Gravity” is a well-told story with groundbreaking visual effects that will be remembered for years to come. This film is the same type as “2001: A Space Odyssey” or “Star Wars” were back in their times.
Take a chance on “Gravity”; it will be more than worth it. Even if the plot isn’t quite groundbreaking, the visuals more than make up for it. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.