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Is 'The Walk' worth your time?
Joseph Gordon-Levitt in The Walk (2015) - photo by John Clyde
ON THE WIRE In addition to this week's highly anticipated release of The Martian another film is headed to the big screen as well, and when I say the big screen I mean to the really big screen.

The Walk retells the story of high-wire walker Philippe Petit and his dream to hang his wire across the Twin Towers in New York and make a walk that no one would ever forget.

The film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a spectacle and worth the watch, but there is one thing that kept pulling me out of the world of The Walk and keeping me from really loving the film. Well get to that later. First, lets talk about why the movie is worth watching.

The story

The film is based on the book To Reach the Clouds, written by Petit. A documentary was also made titled Man on Wire, based on the book in 2008.

Why has there been a book, a documentary and now a film made out of this story? Because its truly incredible.

In 1974, Petit pulled together a small group and planned to sneak into the Twin Towers, rig a high wire in the middle of the night and then walk across it in the morning. The antics of Petit and his crew are played off like a heist film in The Walk, and it keeps the atmosphere, fun, engrossing and often filled with tension.

The first part of the film chronicling Petits backstory can be slow at times as we ramp up to the crime itself, but thats not to say its not still enjoyable.

A new perspective

Director Robert Zemeckis gives the audience the opportunity that only high-wire walkers get: a glimpse of what its like to be on the wire.

Before now, our view of these acrobats has been from the ground with our necks craned up to see the action, in The Walk Zemeckis puts us on the wire, above the wire and pretty much everywhere else imaginable.

In IMAX, its often times breathtaking to look down from the wire at New York City below, and it gives us the tiniest peek into what Petit must have seen that day in August.

If for nothing else The Walk is worth a watch due to the experience of wire walk alone.

Problems: CG madness

Zemeckis has made some incredible films like Forrest Gump, Cast Away, What Lies Beneath and one of my personal favorites, Back to the Future. As of late, however, Zemeckis has caught a bit of what I like to call the George Lucas bug.

Zemeckis has fallen in love with the computer graphics of the CG world, and it can get distracting in The Walk.

Its clear that a number of the shots had to be done through computer and movie magic because I dont think Gordon-Levitt was about walk out onto a wire suspended more than a thousand feet in the air. The actual wire walk isnt the problem, however. In an effort to give the audience some unique shots Zemeckis utilizes some distracting CG effects that pulled me right out of the movie.

Some of these effects were so jarring and blatantly fake that it took me a few minutes to get back into the groove of the movie and start enjoying myself again.


Even though The Walk can be a bit corny at times and the CG distracting, its still an entertaining film worth the price of admission to see it in IMAX.

The Walk is rated PG for a minimal amount of language and brief, obscured nudity. The scene Im speaking of is in no way sexual and more comical, serving an actual purpose to the story.