Wednesday, 14 October 2015

REVIEW - THE WALK (ROBERT ZEMECKIS)


The guy who says he gets scared on a stool step? That's me. He quivers with fear standing by the glass wall overlooking the World Trade Centre lobby, though dangles off its roof later on with a peculiar lack of hesitation - that's not me. I caught myself out in The Walk, barely registering that I'd craned my neck around so as to barely glimpse what was on the screen, only doing so when the 3D effects began to distort. It's the most intensely frightening film, a bravura showpiece of directorial prowess, an extraordinary sensory account of an extraordinary act; it's a dreadful drama with ugly 3D, regressive gender politics, an insufferable lead performance in an insufferable part and some of the year's very worst dialogue. It rather depends on where you are in The Walk. The first half is mostly risible, weighed down by cutesy comedic affectations and an oppressive lack of stylistic appreciation - Robert Zemeckis tries, but all you notice is the effort, and none of the results. The second half is mostly remarkable, a demonstration of the power of cinema to evoke fear and excitement and to raise them to near-ecstatic levels. Zemeckis utilises a most unique environment to craft an astounding study in spatial dynamics in cinema, with the human component that is this film's driving force (and often its downfall) providing the perfect emotive counterpoint to all this geometric effects work. It scared the stools out of me, brilliantly and beautifully. It's a masterpiece of filmmaking spoilt by some of the worst filmmaking in contemporary Hollywood.