What I’m about to say may be received with a mild exclamation of surprise. I’m not ashamed. For years I’ve been bemoaning the pointlessness of 3D, even if Avatar did offer brief hope. Then came the deluge of bland horror remakes that did little other than aim a flying axe or pointy blade my way. A tenner for the privilege. You could own the film for the same price only a few months later. Without the annoying urchins that munch their way through tubs of popcorn, packets of M&M’s, while slurping coke as if the government has instituted a system of rationing outside our cinemas.
I digress. The point is I didn’t like 3D. Then suddenly – wham! Alfonso Cuarón, the auteur that pissed off half of Hogwarts, slams a movie into my face so hard it almost takes it clean off. Others aren’t so lucky. Brief but brilliant, Gravity tells how a medical engineer (Sandra Bullock) and an astronaut (George Clooney) work together to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in the ocean of emptiness. Think Speed in space. Without the bus. Or the train. Or a wildcat for that matter. More of a grimalkin.
Bullock is superb. She knows how to do vulnerable. Not since she wore a vest loaded with explosives tied to a pressure release detonator has she looked so adorably exposed. Clooney, meanwhile, is Clooney. Charming and playful, his performance may be stuck in neutral for the most part, but it’s one I rarely get bored of. As for the plot, there’s not much of one. It’s one disaster after another. For a moment you might doubt its credibility, but then a lump of metal will be hurled into your mush and your heart will be ticking faster than a cheap gold watch.
The imagery is breath-taking. The set pieces are explosive. The performances are captivating. Gravity is one of the tensest experiences you will ever have to endure. And it’s only a movie. Imagine being strapped into a 90-minute rollercoaster. It’s that good. No movie will leave you as lightheaded or as exhausted as this will, and furthermore, dare I say it, Gravity has to be seen in 3D. Somebody shoot me. But not into space. Been there, done that. Barely survived. DW