Hot Take: The Walk is a spectacle and occasionally spectacular. Unimaginable in 2D, this somewhat hokey telling of the pure joy of chasing and accomplishing your dream is an IMAX 3D must. It’s what 3D was made for.
The Walk is more performance art than movie. There are so many wonderful moments in the movie, it’s easy to ignore it isn’t much of a movie at all. There’s a chance you’ll feel the first hour is completely unnecessary (especially if you’ve seen the documentary Man on Wire) but once Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) gets on the wire, you’ll be captivated and stay there for the duration.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- The Walk
In the past, I’ve referred to 3D technology as unnecessary fluff and an excuse to add a few extra bucks to movie ticket prices. The Walk is the exception. I can’t even imagine watching The Walk in standard format.
- World Trade Center
The recreation of the Twin Towers is stunning. While most of the film was hokey and somewhat silly, the scenes involving the World Trade Center were breathtaking. What director Robert Zemeckis did here that was particularly magical was breathe life into the buildings much the way Petit’s feat gave it a soul. The references are subtle and the one thing the movie doesn’t go over the top. When taking into consideration the gravity of 9/11, it’s unexpectedly emotional.
- Ben Kingsley
Kingsley’s performance as Petit’s mentor Papa Rudy is delightful.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
From most accounts, the clownish spirit of the first half of the film fit the biopic’s subject. However, that doesn’t make it more watchable. All the 3D technology in the world can’t give the first half of this film depth.
- Microwave Relationships
For a film with a two hour run time and plenty of characters, you’d think it would develop a few relationships to the point where you actually care. The relationship between Kingsley’s Papa Rudy and Gordon-Levitt’s Petit might be the only worthwhile investment the movie makes.