The standard joke question people have often asked daredevil adventurers is “why did you do it?” Their answer has usually been “Because it was there!” The same could be said for ‘The Walk’. Charting one man’s obsession to walk a tightrope between the Twin towers of the World Trade Centre in 1974, one at least has to admire his bravery. Those suffering from vertigo may have a tough time watching but the experience provides a modicum of the rush the walker felt all those years ago.
Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a man on a mission. A high-wire artist looking for new challenges, one he finds with the World Trade Centre towers. Determined to walk between them, he enlists the support of his friends including mentor Papa Rudy (Ben Kingsley). Facing a myriad of physical and personal challenges Philippe’s quest tests his resolve. The final outcome awaits his skills and a fame he never imagined.
‘The Walk’ perfectly encapsulates Robert Zemeckis’ directorial style. Wanting to bring his viewers into his character’s feats, he successfully does so here. Although the story is the usual ‘fight against adversity’ obstacle course, ‘The Walk’ dazzles in its white-knuckle visuals. The walk between the towers is of course the film’s centrepiece and it delivers in spades. This scaredy cat reviewer gripped the cinema seats very tight as Petit walked an amazing height.
None of this would work without becoming involved in Petit’s mission which we do easily because of Gordon-Levitt’s stoic performance as the determined artist. At times brave, strong and just plain crazy, facets well imagined in Gordon-Levitt’s hands. Kudos also goes to the CGI boffins who conjure the gravity defying visions superbly. You really feel you are with Petit every step of the way as he creates history with every step.
The most positive movie featuring the former twin towers since 2001, ‘The Walk’ almost becomes an ode to it. Whilst its’ tragic demise will never forgotten ‘The Walk’ ensures it becomes a symbol of what can be achieved and the tenacity of the human spirit.
Movie Review Rating out of 10: 8
Movie Review by Patrick Moore
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Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.