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Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Charlotte Le Bon in "The Walk." (Sony Pictures Entertainment) Credit: Courtesy of TNS

Review: ‘The Walk’ is thrilling, no explanation necessary

“The Walk,” written and directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, has been on my list for a while as one of the most anticipated films of the year.

The movie is based on the novel “To Reach the Clouds,” by Philippe Petit, which is about the true story of Petit’s walk on a tightrope between the Twin Towers in 1974.

The premise looked interesting, and it is in the hands of one of the greatest directors of all time and stars Gordon-Levitt, so this movie checked all the right boxes coming in.  

To start things off, this movie is absolutely worth the price of an IMAX 3D ticket. Even more so than “Everest,” the visuals when it comes time for the actual walk to occur are some of the greatest I have ever seen. This is not a movie for anyone deathly afraid of heights, because it truly feels as if you are dangling on a little wire over 1,300 feet in the air.  

Gordon-Levitt pulls off the French accent and has a great performance as Petit, as he gave the film some much-needed comedy and heart. What worried me coming in was how they were going to make a full feature film about a single walk across the Twin Towers. That ended up not being an issue at all, with Zemeckis doing a terrific job at creating an interesting and sometimes hilarious opening to what was to come.

The conclusion to this movie is everything and anything that I could have hoped for — with the visuals being beautiful, and the entire event being incredibly tense and suspenseful. When seeing a man walk on a wire from over 1,300 feet up like that, you just cannot help but feel very uneasy about it. And that worked in favor of the movie.

There were some choices, however, that I felt were unnecessary — specifically the narration.  

Right off the bat, we see Gordon-Levitt as Petit is going to be our narrator and guide us throughout this entire journey. For me, it felt completely unnecessary. Every time he speaks, he says something that is either blatantly obvious or something that should have been implied rather than said out loud. The narration made sure that every audience member would know exactly what’s going on instead of trusting that the audience is smart enough to figure it out for themselves.

For me, some of the emotion also did not work for me. I heard some people saying they were fighting tears at the conclusion. But I didn’t feel anything close to tears. I was still in awe with what I had just witnessed.

Overall, “The Walk” is an incredible story that was handled excellently by Zemeckis. Gordon-Levitt is excellent in the lead, the visuals are mind-blowingly breathtaking, and the end had my heart racing and paid off in every way I wanted it to. The narration was a bad move in my opinion, and there were some moments that had me questioning how true this movie is being. But it didn’t matter in the end, because “The Walk” had everything I wanted.


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