Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), a medical engineer on her first shuttle mission is with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) who is in charge of the Shuttle Explorer’s STS-157 mission to repair the Hubble Telescope before retiring. After a while, Houston control aborts the mission warning that a Russian missile hit a satellite, causing a chain reaction and now there is a storm of debris coming upon them. This results in Stone and Kowalski losing communication with Mission Control and leaves them completely alone – tethered to nothing and spiralling out into the blackness.
The movie has a simple premise but it’s the execution of the movie that’s most impressive. The pacing is set right for the movie it’s trying to be. One of the first things you need to know before going into this movie is know that despite it being a thriller, it has many moments where the movie slows down. I’ve heard of many other people who have watched this movie and walking out feeling disappointed saying that it was boring. Don’t expect an action movie, it has thrills but also has many slower moments.
Sandra Bullock is great in this movie. Over time you do learn some things about her character in some of the slower parts. The whole movie follows her journey to safety so if she wasn’t good, the movie wouldn’t work as well. She was convincing as someone stuck in space which is unique in a special effects movie. George Clooney isn’t in the movie as much and you don’t get to learn as much about his character but he was also good in the movie.
The camera work was mind-blowing. There are very few cuts in the movie, the first cut only happened after like 10 minutes. That first shot is started from a distance at Earth, then after a while the camera zooms in on the satellite being repaired. By the time the first cut happened, I felt like I was in space. In most CGI movies there are usually at least one scene that you can tell are CGI, this movie never had any of those moments. The special effects are the most believable effects I have seen in a while. The movie looks absolutely beautiful. Gravity is best experienced in IMAX 3D, it’s very rare for me to come across a movie that I can say that about. I haven’t experienced the 2D version so I don’t know how both versions stack up against each other. Some people might say this film is just special effects and nothing else, but real time and effort has been put into this movie to make it feel like it’s in space.
The soundtrack composed by Steven Price is perfect for this movie. It goes from wondrous and thoughtful to incredibly loud and intense, in fact it’s the soundtrack that makes the chaotic scenes even more intense than they already are. The sound effects work for the movie; for example, when things are getting torn apart in space, there is barely any audio. Even less chaotic moments such as a drill unscrewing a bolt sound exactly if you are in space.
Gravity is a visual masterpiece; it is a movie that you can only experience. I watched this a few times and I still enjoy it but there may be others who find that the magic of this movie can only be experienced once. This is the best portrayal of space I’ve ever seen in a movie. I don’t know how accurate the movie is of portraying life in space but it looks very realistic at least to me. The special effects paired with the soundtrack, Bullock, Clooney and the cinematography help to make one of the best thrill rides in a while.