The Walk (2015)

The Walk

The Walk Review

The Walk is a 2015 biographical drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. It is a troublesome, but moving and visually dazzling film.

First of all, I have to admit that I liked The Walk more than I did ‘Man on Wire‘. Yes, I know I am in the minority here, but while that film is more personal, this one is to me better executed and much more entertaining overall. Robert Zemeckis makes a comeback with this film and although his ‘Cast Away’ is admittedly a much better movie, I still found this movie quite good and definitely worth watching.

The third act is where it shines. Its climax is prolonged, but still so incredibly beautiful to watch and also very engaging. It should have been more thrilling, but I liked that it had its moving and even poetic moments that are just so breathtaking and cinematic. There are many moments here where you can just pause and admire the wonderful imagery. It is such a well shot movie with superb cinematography and some really good special effects. Everything here looks gorgeous, not just the natural scenery and the buildings, but also New York which is stunning.

I found the character development to be satisfying, but still lacking. Philippe Petit can be annoying and too over-the-top, but he can also be funny from time to time and he is overall well depicted and acted. Papa Rudy is also quite good and I liked Annie and found her to be quite endearing, albeit underused.

The acting is strong. Charlotte Le Bon is good and Ben Kingsley is expectedly fine, but this is Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s show and he does deliver. His accent can be difficult to accept at times, but is mostly good and he brought a lot of charisma and heart to this role. I liked his work here and I still think that he continues to be an underrated actor.

The Walk is a problematic movie as it has so many frustrating aspects about it. The first one has to be the humor. Oh, how I disliked the humor in this movie. It just ruined the experience for me as it was the kind of humor that shouldn’t belong here as it is so cheesy and so over-the-top. It is mostly unfunny and just so annoying. And it just doesn’t belong as the more dramatic approach would have made this movie immensely stronger.

Another problem I’ve had with it is its storytelling approach with Philippe’s narrative being frustrating. That also is a mediocre approach as it belongs more in the category of documentary or family films. That was such a big distraction. And the whole movie is like that – it feels too childish and too forced at times. It is a family-friendly spin on the tale and that was really off-putting and unnecessary. And I’ve also had some problems with the first half as it was a typical biopic at times, the one that just moves the story forward without any momentum or proper characterization.

But, I mostly did like that first half as it had its moments, mostly the meetings of the characters are well realized. I also liked the thriller aspects in the second act and of course the poetic and visually arresting execution of the third act. The tone is all over the place and is really poorly handled, but the direction from Zemeckis is very good and the score in particular is stupendous as it lifted some of the more emotional and important scenes. It is heartwarming at times, but not enough in my opinion as it mostly settled for cheese. The dialogue is quite solid and the pacing is mostly really good as the film never feels overlong or boring. It should have been more mature, but the visual and emotional resonance of the later scenes are really well done and some moments are just gorgeous. It is quite a good movie that is problematic, but still involving and beautiful to watch.

The Walk has its problems including the overreliance on cheese and too childish approach with the humor being very annoying, but it is still an involving and visually superb take on the story with some good performances, excellent cinematography, very good score and some moving, memorable and very well executed scenes.

My Rating – 4

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      Interior & Exterior Stills from The Walk

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