There’s a column I read that rates movies as to whether a movie being shown in 3-D is truly worth seeing in 3-D. They go through a complicated list of criteria, and the highest score possible is 35 . The Walk got a score of 35 out of 35.
I haven’t seen many movies in 3-D. Hugo (2011). Gravity (2013). That might be it. Those movies made great use of the medium. The Walk brings it to an environment we can relate to. Anyone who’s ever stood on a tall building and looked over the edge can relate to the feelings this movie brings you in a way other movies could not.
However, there is so much more to this movie than the amazing twenty five-minute climax. This is a biography about high wire artist Philippe Petit. Yes, for those of you young’uns, this is a true story.
Philippe Petit’s beginnings as a street artist, and his struggle learning to walk a tightrope are fascinating. You realize this is guy has nothing in common with today’s breed of “daredevils” who strap a GoPro to their head and climb a crane so they can accumulate hits on Youtube. Philippe Petit is an artist. An insane artist, but still, an artist.
The film also has a surprisingly very light tone to it. As he plans his walk across the World Trade Center towers, the movie reminds me of a heist movie, like The Hot Rock (1972). But instead of stealing a diamond, the group’s caper is to steal some time, and some air, 1,350 above the ground.
Director Robert Zemeckis, who helmed Back to the Future (1985) and Castaway (2000), treats this as a true movie experience. It begins with Petit speaking to the audience while standing on the Statue of Liberty, narrating his story. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the story, immediately you know he survives his attempt. But the suspense is still there as he and his comrades avoid getting caught as they set up the 500 pound steal cable in the middle of the night.
So you want to see a movie where your wife will grab your arm out of fright? Then take a ride, and go see The Walk in 3-D. You’ll absolutely fall for it.