by Brad Nelson 3/25/14
“I had that sinking feeling.” “I couldn’t weight for it to end.” I was thinking up all kinds of gravity puns while waiting for this highly over-rated turkey to end. No need to read this review. It will just be one long “WTF?”
But, of course, I need to tell you why it sucked. And similar to the counseling they do for victims of trauma, I also need to talk myself down a little as well. I went into this film expecting to like it. Oh, I knew full well that it wasn’t the second coming of 2001: A Space Odyssey. But it sounded like a good, brainless popcorn flick. A chance for an afternoon of harmless fun.
But all it had was brainless. Remember when Renée Zellweger in Jerry Maguire said, “You had me at ‘hello'” to Tom Cruise? Well, this movie lost me at “Why the hell couldn’t Sandra Bullock hold onto George Clooney at the end of the tether in a completely weightless environment?”
Later, as the mission specialist (aka, not a friggin’ astronaut or pilot), Bullock is able to pilot a Russian spacecraft, and later a Chinese one. And all by playing “eeny, meeny, miny, moe” with the buttons on the control panel with labels written in a language she can’t read. And that’s only scratching the surface of the torrent of implausible things in this film.
This is a movie you have to watch on the level of a baby who is lying on his back in a crib looking up and marveling at all the brightly-colored shiny things that are somehow suspended magically in the air above him and that keep moving, moving, moving — what we call a Fisher-Price mobile. In order to watch Gravity, you don’t just have to suspend disbelief. You have to totally leave your brain at the door. You have to be enamored by little more than shiny things moving, moving, moving on the screen in front of you.
And you need to keep all of your brain at the door, even that part that you normally keep in reserve for shallow (but watchable) popcorn movies. This movie fails on every conceivable level. The acting is poor. The dialogue is horrible. The inane banter between the astronauts makes you want to reach for the valve to open your suit in the vacuum of space. (Now I know why Clooney got out of this film early.) The only good thing you can say for this movie (typical of today’s mindless bobbles) is the special effects. The one truly notable scene is watching the International Space Station get ripped apart by space debris. Cool.
Other than that, collect all the original prints of this and flush them down the toilet. There is nothing worth saving. And yet, incredibly, this movie made a gob of money and was generally highly praised by my friends (and, no, I haven’t moved on to other friends, but we need some sort of an intervention to set things straight again).
Gravity is the kind of movie that is reassuring in the sense that is reassures me that my tastes are still intact and that those of the West, in general, are going to hell in a hand-basket (although the hand-basket is gloriously animated in 3D with all kinds of sparkly effects).
Okay, I feel as if I’ve purged enough. If you saw this movie and enjoyed it, well, I’m sure there’s ten-step program for you somewhere. But if you haven’t seen it, don’t waste precious moments of your life watching Hollywood churn out another pseudo-movie that is heartless, brainless, and just plain implausibly stupid. If you want to laugh at discombobulation, go see The Three Stooges.