Friday, 9 October 2015
REVIEW: THE WALK
123 Minutes. Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Charlotte La Bon, James Badge Dale & Ben Kingsley. Director: Robert Zemeckis.
Inspiration comes in many forms. Sometimes it comes in the form of a world famous city like New York. Sometimes in the iconic buildings and structures that scrape its skyline. Sometimes, just sometimes however it comes when a petite Frenchmen hangs a wire between two towers and walks across it. This petit Frenchmen being Philippe Petit, who back in the 1970's when the iconic but now tragic Twin Towers first stood, walked on the air between them with only a tight-rope below his pumps. Turning what where at first seen as huge office block "filing cabinets" into things of legend, decades before they would be and always be remembered for something so devastating. But no matter what cruel act took these landmarks, what Petit did the day he broke into the towers to really take in their awe-inspiring look and view was an act of joy, an act of kindness and between all of that, an act of art too. Walking taller than nobody else and making sure the towers will always stand in memory this great mans life should do the same. Especially the documentary of this magicians greatest feat, which was no trick. This 'Man On A Wire', a performance piece from this exhibitionist from Paris, France that needs no Hollywood remake. Yet as unbelievable as this all is, what this man amazingly did remains to some either forgotten, ignored or worse still never even realized. In a digital age where most lie on a couch in refresh wait measuring worth, celebration and "fame" in the filters of likes and retweets maybe we finally have the effects to retell a story of one man that when nobody was watching at first reached higher than 10 stories above the Eiffel Tower to create one hell of a picture in the heavens that they hopefully won't scroll past. Time to learn more about the man and his passion to achieve the inspirational and the impossible. Time to go through the wire.
Hit record! Because you only got one shot at this and you're not going to want to miss it. Joseph Gordon-Levitt has done a great deal on this '3rd Rock From The Sun' in the name of his art. He's been the 'Inception' of our dreams. The Robin to our 'Dark Knight's' Batman. He's even given us '500 Days Of Summer'. Quite simply the 'Don Jon' with his own production copy that finds, shares and collaborates with eager to be discovered talent. He's even the type of star who can turn down the Lord lead of 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' to work on passion projects like last years 'Sin City-A Dame To Kill For', which in black and white was a hell of a lot better than most critics gave overdue credit for. Still its this passion project that may be one of the best young actors around todays perfect production. With a turtleneck, accented performance of this artist that not only talks the talk, but walks the line after working toe-for-toe with the wire walker himself. Now we just hope he knows how to walk the red carpet walk to the stage to collect what comes after the words "and the winner is..." opens the envelope. So many gold statues go to those who bring the drama, but once in a while why not give it to someone that enthuses joy? Now can he get a round of applause as he bows to his audience? Not only does Joseph's technicolour, seventies retro performance bring the act and art of Petit to life. Joe also channels with seemingly effortless genuine affection the mans "joie de vivre". In a recent Oscar season trend of fourth wall, screen barrier breaking, direct to camera 'Wolf Of Wall Street' DiCaprio narrated acting we've seen it all. From Michael Fassbender's globe theatre worthy audience addressing in 'Macbeth' to Matt Damon's 'Martian' man-alone inventive plot device video logs. But nothing beats Levitt levitating to the skyline of New York with a hand from that lady of Liberty like the 'Bad' Michael Jackson video as he raises a torch for the World Trade in documentary form paying sweet homage to the source material. It would be almost too bittersweet if we weren't wrapped up in the magnetic charisma of this leading man and the real life maestro he followed in clear inspiration and joy for life. This love letter to the towers is signed, sealed and delivered with a dedication from this amazing Joe's signature. Two fingers pinched to the lips, tres magnifique! Mwah!
There's more to this 'cou' however that's first half of sweet, yet sincere sentiment backstory segues into a cat-burgling caper, complete with a spy score. Scaling the heights of an 'Ant-Man' heist (another role this Marvel Joe went down-to-the wire with the perfect Paul Rudd for...although here he proves he could have stole it too) before the third act, high-wire finale designed for your 3D IMAX's most vivid imaginations becoming no longer illusions. 'Yves Saint Laurent' nominated, French-Canadian star Charlotte La Bon plays the love of Levitt's mans life and the woman who was the Joy to the French dubbed version of this years biggest animation and movie 'Inside Out' brings even more happiness outside and in here. Whilst rising character actor of the moment Janes Badge Dale continues to be in every other movie and worthy as many as he can too leading an accomplished rap sheet list of accomplices. He's got a hell of a jacket, even if his short sleeve, slick Summer shirts never wears one. Then of course there's legendary Brit Ben Kingsley the sir of Hollywood as ever. Between this and the Dane DeHaan 'Life' of James Dean being the accent to any character he plays, even if we can still hear some of the Mandarin in him. Now who better to direct this wonder this middle of October 2015 than the man who brought us Marty McFly and the 'Back To The Future' trilogy? Great Scott Doc its Robert Zemeckis! No stranger to bringing a mans weird and wonderful life to an epic journey of joyous cinema, from Tom Hanks and 'Forrest Gump's box of chocolates to Tom Hanks and that volleyball Wilson in 'Cast Away'. No stranger in pointing Oscar actors back in the direction of the Academy, like 'Philadelphia' co-star Denzel Washington's 'Flight' plan. This soaring spectacle with stunning scenery is in the air space of his best, but with the new techniques of his directing tricks of the trade, especially for the dimensions of the IMAX screens arguably his most inventive work since he rolled out the 80's drug-lords favourite DeLorean as something that could drag-race with H.G. Wells. Still rooted in the depths of story and the emotive nature of the people who write their own. Zemeckis keeps our hearts warm with inspired introduction, before throwing them right up to the heights of our mouths with his next moving bit of movie-making. As Joe's Phillip takes his first steps on the wire with real depth, no safety, nor net into the atmosphere of the breach between the iron giants of the World Trade Centre, seemingly without a window to the souls watching inside it's truly as haunting a moment as it is inspiring. The scary sound of creaking cables leaving a lump in your throat for more reasons than one. From there on out however, you wont believe it. Just watch, because this wire taught, nerve snapping tension of spinal shivers will leave your goose well and truly pimpled. A spectacle more stunning than the electric fireworks of Times Square on New Year in New York. It's like nothing you've ever seen before on screen. Its indescribable. But if we where to call it anything, its something beautiful...emotional. But only tears of joy will be shed. Reminding you between Zemeckis and Joe Levitt's best just how great they really are and just how fantastic filmmaking can really get with one of this years top ten best. Reminding us more importantly however that nothing can scale what Phillip Petit performed that day even with todays cinematic sense. A record that like the towers in our heart will forever stand. For that it's time you and the 'Man On The Wire' took a walk that's a towering freedom. TIM DAVID HARVEY.