Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Walk

       Robert Zemeckis and his team do the impossible and bring the World Trade Center "Twin Towers" back to life for two hours in this technical marvel of a film. Mr. Zemeckis has always been on the cutting edge of new technology but he outdoes him here in a beautifully rendered recreation of the iconic buildings and the man who dared to cross them on a high wire.

        The film is based on the true story of wirewalker, Philippe Petit and his dream to walk across the Towers in 1974 just as the buildings were being finished. There is an excellent documentary about it called "Man on Wire" if you want to know more. Mr. Petit is played by Joseph Gordon Levitt, who's french is better than his accented English, but still charms as Petit. He obviously trained for sometime to be competent on the wire, as well as juggling and acrobatics.

        Mr. Gordon-Levitt narrates the film from the torch of the Statue of Liberty (with the towers in the background) telling us about his early years and how he found his life's calling when he meets Papa Rudy (played by Sir Ben Kingsley) an accomplished wirewalker and circus performer. He then goes on to explain his obsession with the Towers and how, with a small gang of "accomplices", he pulls off the stunt (or what he calls the coup) of the century.

         When the action shifts to the actual stunt, it plays like a great cinematic robbery and the characters that come to life and steal the film are the towers themselves. The film must be seen in 3-D as it's possibly the best use of the technology I've even seen. As Philippe walks his wire, my hands were actually sweaty during the entire sequence (confession, I'm not a fan of heights to begin with).

            The film is a testimony to human endurance and a loving tribute to The World Trade Center. For those brief two hours, the towers are back, vibrant in the New York skyline and all is right in the world.

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