Movie Review: The Walk (2015)

imageEven though the film purports to be about dreaming up the impossible, Robert Zemeckis’s The Walk (D) has larger plausibility issues in the form of plot, performances and purpose. This film about the French daredevil who walked on a wire from one Twin Tower to the other in 1974 NYC goes down as one of the filmmaker’s most stunning disappointments. The inventive director who once romanced a South American stone, took us on time travels with Marty McFly, framed a cartoon rabbit into real-life and integrated a famous Gump into modern history has, for the past two decades, turned his attention and technical wizardry to tedious affairs involving dead-eyed CGI characters, blustery performances by A-listers and special effects in search of a story. Awkwardly narrated in an atrocious French accent by its central character played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, this true-life tightrope tale is ham-strung by a trite script, a silly tone and petty plotting to arrive at a daffy denouement. Ben Kingsley even out-does Gordon-Levitt in the game of strange accents. Plus the much-heralded effects re-creating the majestic skyscrapers of the past are odd, with the protagonist’s promenades filmed at one of about five of the same angles again and again. Devoid of the high-stakes heights or tension that are supposed to be at its centerpiece, this film is instead an all-time low for a moviemaker in a slump.

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