The 3D is the best thing about The Walk. I have never said this about any movie and I doubt I’ll ever say it again (except for maybe the new Paranormal Activity). It’s the most effective use of the extra dimension I’ve seen since Gravity. But if you’re not wearing those plastic glasses, there’s no strong reason to see this.
Documentary Man on Wire already told this story brilliantly – crazy French man Philippe Petit wire-walked between the twin towers in the name of art. The only thing the doco couldn’t do was show you the actual walk, something Robert Zemeckis has put huge directorial emphasis on with this campy, family-friendly dramatisation. Given this story has already been told so well, it would be smart to simply indulge in the visuals. But The Walk isn’t that smart.
With his Pepé Le Pew accent in full force, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Petit provides voiceover narration throughout the entire movie, essentially telling us what’s happening on screen. This is especially weird given his opening monologue clearly states how his words cannot describe the journey; he can only show us. And yet, he cannot seem to shut up. It’s like sitting next to Philippe himself as he intrusively talks during the film. The only difference is you can’t shush the movie. Not that it was ever an Oscar-contender with its watered-down storytelling and humour ranging from light chuckles to forehead-rubbing embarrassment.
But when Petit stops talking the talk and finally starts walking the walk, Zemeckis pulls off one hell of a cinematic trick. Not only is the sequence terrifyingly vertigo-inducing, it’s eye-blisteringly beautiful to behold – the magnitude of which could only be achieved in 3D. It will stump you. It will amaze you. It will make you wish it was part of a better movie.
(If you’re seeing this in 2D, consider this a two-star review.)
‘The Walk’ 3D Movie Times | ‘The Walk’ 2D Movie Times
If this excites you, try: Gravity, Sunshine Superman, Man on Wire