The Walk – Review by Gadi Elkon

Twelve people have walked on the moon, but only one man – Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) – has ever, or will ever, walk in the immense void between the World Trade Center towers. Guided by his real-life mentor, Papa Rudy (Ben Kingsley), and aided by an unlikely band of international recruits, Petit and his gang overcome long odds, betrayals, dissension and countless close calls to conceive and execute their mad plan.  From Sony Pictures Website.

Click through for my review of this IMAX marvel.

"Give Them A Soul", Charlotte Le Bon's character Annie utters to Philippe in a pivotal moment in their journey and their own relationship.  She's talking about the two massive buildings that had engulfed Philippe's world long before he ever truly set eyes on the record setting duo.  Set amongst our current context of the Twin Towers this line is so much more emotionally hitting then expected.  The film continues to hold this unique quality because of the impact of 9/11.  I won't harp on this point to long, but it's deep in the image of the film.  There is another line at the end of the film where Philippe explains to us the audience about being able to visit the observation deck, "forever".  Powerful, moving and ultimately uplifting is The Walk.  An IMAX experience that maximizes the real power of the medium to it's fullest.  Director Robert Zemeckis is no stranger to pushing the film experience to the next level.  Whether it was putting Forrest Gump next to famous figures in his beloved Oscar-winner or it was his beautiful dabbling into the world of animation Zemeckis continues to strive for something special.  He doesn't make epic films or films that lack the heart to equal their grand scale.  Rather he finds the real heart in these large tales.  Flight, with Denzel Washington, was a hard look at the struggles of addiction, pain, and talent all mixed into one figure.  Or even when a fella named Marty decided to battle TIME, we still got to know that young hero so well.  Petit is a different exercise.  We meet determination, fearless abandon, and unrelenting ego.  Philippe Petit did the unimaginable. 

The cast of The Walk is what really expands it's horizon.  Without the talented cast you could just sneak into the final 40 minutes and witness IMAX spectacle.  The Walk itself is utter magic and will garner many awards for it's amazing capturing of literally being suspended above New York City.  Visually one of the most amazing films ever captured.  But, it's JGL commitment to the zany Petit, Charlotte Le Bon's beautiful curiosity and Ben Kingsley's funny ferocity that stands out.  Philippe's "family" is his true love Annie and his mentor Papa Rudy.  They are the backbone of the story and the most entertaining qualities that allow for the first hour to really capture your heart for Philippe.  Then you surround him with the brass "accomplishes" that pull off the "Art Coup of the century".  James Badge Dale, Benedict Samuel, and Cesar Domboy are the trusted trio.  Steve Valentine's Barry Greenhouse is the inside man and there is a funny stoner duo that round out the group.  Overall a well cast group of figures allows for the "bank robbery" style gang to fully come into life.  The pacing of the film feels like a heist or robbery film and allows Zemeckis to do what he does best, get to the fun point as quick as possible.  I mean you gotta go 88 mph to get Back to the Future, this isn't a damn walk, it's a freaking terrifying speed burst into history.  The Walk is not for the fragile or feint of heart.  It's a full on ride and experience.

The final thing I'll say for the film is RUN to the theater, don't walk!!

The movie hits IMAX and special engagement theaters TODAY, and expands by October 9th. 

For more information on the film please go, here.

The Walk One Sheet

Written By
More from Gadi Elkon
WILDFLOWER – Interview with Director Matt Smukler
Director Matt Smukler talked with our Gadi Elkon about his feature film...
Read More
0 replies on “The Walk – Review by Gadi Elkon”