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Movie Review: The Walk

Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) begins his challenge with one step in Robert Zemeckis' "The Walk"

Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) begins his challenge with one step in Robert Zemeckis’ “The Walk”

After seeing Flight in 2012, I’m glad Robert Zemeckis is back doing live-action films. Back to the Future, Forrest Gump, Cast Away are among some of his biggest achievements. His latest film, The Walk, takes his direction to new heights. He creates an experience like no other: a 3D biopic/drama/thriller about pursuing one’s dreams.

In 1974, Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a popular street performer in Paris. One day, after getting a toothache, he decides to do the impossible. Walking on a tightrope between the World Trade Center. Not only would it be dangerous, but also illegal (given that the Twin Towers have yet to be finished). Under the guidance of Papa Rudy (Ben Kingsley) and his girlfriend Annie (Charlotte Le Bon, The Hundred-Foot Journey), he conducts a team of recruits to help him get a tightrope from one tower to the other.

They disguise their way up the building as construction workers, architects, and professional photographers. Once Petit starts his act he’s about to face death every step he takes.

Zemeckis is known for making live-action movies with CGI that is seamless. Forrest Gump is one of his movies that achieved that technique. Especially during the sequences when the feather is blowing in the wind and Forrest talking with the president. In The Walk, his team ambitiously pulls it off. During the breathtaking tightrope sequence, Zemeckis makes the audience feel as if they are in the air as Petit makes his dream a reality.

It does take a while to get used to Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s French accent. But, he is able to pull it off with a charisma that is hard to resist. However, why did he have to narrate his story on top of the Statue of Liberty?

Nevertheless, seeing The Walk on DVD will never be the same as seeing it in 3D. Definitely an experience I will never forget!

Now I have to watch the documentary Man on Wire!

3.5/4

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