Monday, January 11, 2016

The Walk

Through the use of interviews, stills, and reenactment footage, the 2008 documentary Man on Wire offered audiences an excellent look back at wire walker Philippe Petit's high-wire walk between the two towers of the World Trade Center. The Walk, writer/director Robert Zemeckis' biopic starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Petit, may not be as engaging as the documentary, but Zemeckis (using similar set-up same set-up with Gordon-Levitt narrating past events) still manages to capture a bit of the magic by recreating Petit's improbable stunt.

Without attempting to explain Petit's obsession or the drive behind it, Zemeckis takes us along on the man's journey as he attempts to achieve his dream. Beginning with a bit of a backstory for Petit including the relationships with his mentor (Ben Kingsley), girlfriend (Charlotte Le Bon), and the co-conspirators (Clément Sibony, César Domboy, Steve Valentine, James Badge Dale) who would eventually help him pull of his high-wire act, the movie doesn't kick into high gear until its second hour where the caper truly begins.

I would assume those who haven't seen Man on Wire (a film I included on my list of the Best of 2008) are likely to be more impressed with The Walk than I was, but I was still impressed with the film and able to enjoy this version of events (even if it took me awhile to accept Gordon-Levitt as a true Frenchman). Zemekis and company do an excellent job capturing the Petit's obsession that wasn't driven by fame or ego but merely an unexplainable need to see his dream come to fruition. Available on DVD, Blu-ray, and 3D Blu-ray extras include a behind-the scenes featurette on the making of the film. The Blu-ray also includes additional bonus featurettes and deleted scenes and a digital copy of the film.

[Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, DVD $30.99 / Blu-ray $34.99 / 3D Blu-ray $40.99]

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