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Walk, The (3D Blu-ray Review)

31 Dec, 2015 By: John Latchem

Street 1/5/16
Sony Pictures
Box Office $10.14 million
$30.99 DVD, $34.99 Blu-ray, $40.99 3D Blu-ray
Rated ‘PG’ for thematic elements involving perilous situations, and for some nudity, language, brief drug references and smoking.
Stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ben Kingsley, Charlotte Le Bon, James Badge Dale.

The Walk is one of the rare films in which the 3D effects actually contribute to the narrative, rather than simply enhance to the spectacle.

The film tells the story of Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and his death-defying 1974 hire-wire walk between the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center. Petit’s walk was already the subject of the 2008 Oscar-winning documentary Man on Wire, but here director Robert Zemeckis gives it a fictionalized twist that puts viewers right up there on the wire with him.

The sense of depth from high atop the twin towers is likely to play havoc with any viewers’ sense of acrophobia, which only ups the tension as Petit dangles 1,350 feet above the ground balanced on nothing more than a thin cable.

While The Walk might stumble a bit in the beginning with some clumsy narration to set up all the characters and motivations, the final act is about as nail-biting as any sequence put to film in the past few years.

The film is part biography, part caper, and part tribute to the twin towers, though their ultimate fate isn’t dealt with in the movie. Even without the subtext of what happened to the towers on 9/11, The Walk would still be a compelling recap of one of history’s greatest feats of derring-do, and an excellent story about the power of pursuing dreams.

As seen in one of the three behind-the-scenes featurettes on the Blu-ray, the real Petit actually helped trained Gordon-Levitt to walk on high-wires for the film, though most of the sequences were achieved with stunning visual effects. The featurettes total about 29 minutes.

The Blu-ray also includes a handful of deleted scenes that provide some interesting flavor, and even one that provides in a plot point that is left dangling in the finished film.

About the Author: John Latchem

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