Title: The Walk
MPAA Rating: PG
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Charlotte Le Bon, Guillaume Baillargeon
Runtime: 2 hrs 3 mins
What It Is: In 1973 French troubadour Philippe Petit (Gordon-Levitt) gets an epiphany. He wants to climb the 140 feet gap between the in progress World Trade Centers in New York City. He gets this idea while in a dentist office in 1968 following a dental mishap during a street performance. With his lover Annie (Le Bon) and a group of equally insane assistants, they’ll formulate what Petit calls “le coup”, and make “the walk” across the towers. Whether insanity, suicide or a giant adrenaline rush the intent isn’t as important as actually doing the task.
What We Think: This film is a very slow burn and is completely reliant on its final set piece. That final set piece as you can imagine is Petit’s walk across the wire. None of the build up does anything to help us care about any of the characters. Of the group that helps the protagonist, none of the people are very interesting. It is that lack of character development coupled with an ill ability to establish a firm timeline that makes the film hard to follow. Zemeckis s a directed is good, as good can get. Some of the decisions like the lack of a timeline are puzzling. That walk the film builds to is awesome. It is about 25 minutes of heart-thumping, pulse-pounding worry. Despite the fact that you know the ending you cannot help but hope Petit does not fall off.
Our Grade: B-, I’m going to recommend the film. It is not a bad film, in fact, it is very well made. Zemeckis shows he still has the chops to direct. Visually this is just a stunner. If you get past JGL’s so-so accent you will uncover quite an adventure. One that tells a harrowing true story.