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Review : Gravity (2013)

"Don't Let Go"

Released (UK) 7th November 2013, Rated 12A. Runtime: 91 minutes (1 hours, 31 minutes).

Gravity (2013) Fanart - Sanda Bullock as Ryan Stone

Official Synopsis: A medical engineer and an astronaut work together to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space.

Director: Alfonso Cuarón, Produced By: Christopher DeFaria, David Heyman, Stephen Jones, Written By: Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón

Primary Cast: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris

The Red Corner - Lisa

Red Corner Review, by Lisa

Added November 18th, 2013

I am not the biggest fan of space based movies. Maybe it’s the silence juxtaposes against the inherent ever-present danger, the fact that if something goes wrong it goes really wrong or maybe it really is that in space no one can hear you scream. Well on Earth sometimes people hear you and they don’t care, which let’s face it is kinda worse.

So here we are the latest space based offering written and directed by Alfonso Cuaron. The story is a fairly simple one. There are three astronaughts in space. A doctor, an engineer and a pilot. They are out on a routine fixer upper when info comes in from Houston about a fast paced debris shower heading their way after a Russian satellite was blown up by the Russians. It all goes a bit wrong when they get hit by the shower and Sandra Bullock floats off. Lost forever into space. Only she doesn’t get lost.  Ol’ smoothie George Clooney saves her. The other guy is dead. Also Houston has a problem, they are off comms because the faster than a speeding bullet (Superman reference?) debris shower has presumably  killed all the other satellites.

Now down to only two characters in the film Ryan (Sandra) and Kowalski (Clooney). So good ol’ George tethers her and with a James Bond jet pack off he goes, heading for their ship. Unfortunately it has been wrecked – everyone is dead and their corpses are floating about in space. Only thing for it is to float off to the International Space station. Only they just about make it, with Sandra running out of air and now breathing in mostly CO2. Oh dear. Might have been sensible to float into their ship and change over some canisters?

Because Clooney used up all his space jet fuel zooming around at the start then rescuing both Sandra and collecting a dead body, they have none left when they arrive to the space station – after crashing into it only Sandra is in a position to make it inside, lightly tethered to the ISS on a near-breaking cable. And so George heroically unhooks himself, telling Sandra to make her way to a Chinese rescue pod and head back to earth.

All is not well in the station. Once she eventually gets in, delirious from lack of O2, Sandra does not even try and save George and instead floats about in the foetal position for a while once she gets the hang of breathing again in the air lock. After more floating about and looking puzzled a fire breaks out – the result of the station having already been battered by the debris. She gets into a Russian life pod, gets stuck and bombarded by the next round of debris. So she thinks about giving up and dying quietly as the Russian life pod has no fuel left.

There is a moment when the audience is meant to believe that George comes back all cheery and tells her she has to live. Nothing can be worse than losing her daughter and so she decides to aim for the Chinese rescue pod after all and takes a handy fire extinguisher as her make shift jet pack.  Well she only goes and makes it to the Chinese pod, just in time for another blast of the old’ debris cloud. A bit confused by the controls, all in Chinese, she pushes buttons and hopes for the best. Well dontcha know it she re enters earth’s atmosphere and lands in the sea. Not far from land. Only thing is trying to swim in a weighted space suit is likely not the best plan. So once again she sheds the suit, just like in the foetal international space station entry and swims up to the surface. Using all the energy in her knackered space ravaged body and she emerges onto the wet sand in some kind of homage to the beginning of life and then she stands up and looks about and that’s it. It’s over.

Not only is this film pretentious, but it is plain dull. The score given is purely for the nice shots of the earth from space. That’s it. The acting is so bad, we don’t care about these characters at all. Perhaps we do for two seconds. The first second is when George reappears in the dream/hallucination sequence (does anyone in the audience actually believe he is there?) and the second is when we wonder has Sandy done all this just to drown in the sea.  But then right after that we find that we actually don’t care. I refer to the actors names throughout because they played their usual onscreen persona’s throughout. No attempt at developing or portraying a “character”. I say pretentious because of all these illusions to life and birth and the play on the idea of gravity – not just earth’s gravity but the serious life and death stuff. Snooze! All George Clooney’s scenes were mostly in the trailer and I don’t think Sandra can carry a film like this on her own. George going solo might have managed to improve it just a little. We saw this film in 3D which added next to nothing to it in my opinion. The usual nut floating past you was about as interesting as it got and considering the Blue corner received a recommendation from a friend about the 3D made it, for me, all the more disappointing.

This film is a big pile of floating space fluff.

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