Title – The Walk (2015)
Director – Robert Zemeckis (Flight)
Cast – Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Sir Ben Kingsley, James Badge Dale, Charlotte Le Bon
Plot – Based on the true story of high-wire walker Phillipe Petit (Levitt) who with the help of an assembled crew illegally made his way into the Twin Tower buildings to walk the distance between them via a wire.
“They call to me. These towers, they stir something inside of me, and they inspire in me a dream”
Review by Eddie on 25/02/2016
The rare type of film that comes around with both pedigree and a want to be loved but struggles to make a case for why it even came around in the first place, famed director Robert Zemeckis – the man responsible for such gems as Forrest Gump and Cast Away, has with The Walk developed a handsomely crafted and sporadically affecting retelling of much more interesting true story of wire walker Phillipe Petit.
The main reason that bewilders me and seemingly many others about The Walk’s very inception is that in 2008 documentary filmmaker turned feature length director James Marsh delivered one of cinemas great documentaries with the stunning and heartfelt Man on Wire, that not only spoke in depth about the life of Petit and more importantly his breathtaking wire walk across the distance between the then still standing Twin Towers of New York but also re-enacted the events that transpired as good as any feature film incarnation was going to do.
Zemeckis has also been a highly assured filmmaker and a director that can do heart to coincide with spectacle but where Man on Wire acts as a tense and emotionally strong telling of this unbelievable true story, The Walk just doesn’t have the thrills that doco provided and even the best efforts of Joseph Gordon Levitt can’t save the film from an overall sense of mundanity.
Always a likeable presence on the big screen, Levitt had big shoes to fill in portraying the larger than life Petit and while he tries his hardest he never fully functions as a death-defying Frenchman. The other point The Walk tries it’s hardest on is in the titular walk and it sure does look fantastic in a slightly forgettable type of way but it’s not enough to sell the whole movie on and its quite clear now in the aftermath of the films lacking box office performance and almost no showing at awards shows that neither critics or audiences felt overly attached or wowed to this heist film with a difference.
With Man on Wire readily available for viewers to find an enjoy, The Walk feels like a rather unnecessary film and while it’s by no means horrible, it certainly doesn’t do enough to stand alongside it’s much better documentary forefather and you can’t help but escape the feeling this was a real non-eventful retelling of a highly eventful moment in artistic history.
2 ½ sore feet out of 5