"Gravity" is the first film from Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón in six long years. His last film, "Children of Men," was also a critically acclaimed science fiction film that impressed viewers with its incredible and breathtaking single-take action sequences. "Gravity" has been gaining even more praise with even director James Cameron calling it "the best space film ever made." With "Gravity," Alfonso Cuarón has created a near perfect and terrifying 3D journey of desolation.
A medical engineer named Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) attends her first space shuttle mission lead by Matt Kowalski (George Clooney), a seasoned astronaut veteran on his final mission. In the middle of their work outside of the shuttle, they're suddenly interrupted by debris that collides with their spacecraft. Not only is their work destroyed, but the surviving astronauts are rendered helpless and cut off from communication in Houston. The accident leaves Dr. Stone and Kowalski with a limited amount of air and stranded in space. Working together to survive is their only option.
You see Kowalski supervising Dr. Stone in the opening of the film. There's a lot of small talk on Kowalski's end; an endless amount of stories on his part, a love for alcohol, and knowledge of his good looks that he throws into conversations with ease. Dr. Stone, on the other hand, is very nervous. They've already spent a week up in space and she just wants to get her feet back on stable ground. In other words, Kowalski is extremely relaxed while Dr. Stone can't stop being clenched up and tense.
This is one film that demands to be seen in 3D. Next to the screw flying into the camera that you've probably seen in trailers, pretty much anything that floats in zero gravity leaps off of the screen. There's a certain action figure that'll likely get a few laughs while drops of water, human tears, and a variety of astronaut gear drift into the foreground and hover directly in front of your face.
The space elements are exceptional. Alfonso Cuarón's perspective of space is just mesmerizing. Sometimes it's the little things like the reflection in someone's helmet or taking in the view amongst all of the destruction that wind up impressing you. The silence is deafening. Space in film has never felt so quiet and haunting. The carnage caused by the debris is also astonishing. Not only is it a wonder to watch unfold, but it's amazing to see anyone emerge unscathed from such devastation.
The one issue may not be a dilemma for everyone. Sandra Bullock's Ryan Stone makes this really heartfelt speech about where she comes from and her daughter pretty early on. It's extremely emotional and character defining. Needless to say, it's effective and memorable. What nearly ruins it though is that Stone tries to make another speech just like it in the final moments of the film and it seems completely corny in comparison. Up to a certain point, it works just fine but the whole "it's been one hell of a ride" part of it just debunks the whole thing and throws it into lame territory.
"Gravity" practically redefines the space genre with its dizzying outlook of space, stunning cinematography, and the overwhelming sensation of being utterly alone. The sense of helplessness in "Gravity" is unlike anything you've ever experienced in a film before; an endless struggle to survive only heightened by the film's excellent 3D effects.
"Gravity" will begin its theatrical run in conventional, 3D, and IMAX theaters starting tonight, October 3 at 10pm.