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The Walk – Review


Release Date: 9 October 2015 [USA]
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writer: Robert Zemeckis - Christopher Browne [Screenplay] - Philippe Petit [Book - 'To Reach the Clouds']
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt - Charlotte Le Bon - Guillaume Baillargeon



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Posted October 19, 2015 by

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The Walk Review:

Phillip Petit, French travelling street artist and high-wire walker, spots a magazine article covering the construction of the tallest buildings the world has yet to see; the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre. Stricken immediately by them, he begins gathering a team and planning the audacious operation of infiltrating the WTC construction site, planting the high wire and walking it, suspended a quarter mile above the ground.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the central artiste and gives a very theatrical performance. His French accent is turned up to eleven and he moves and speaks with eccentricity. While the performance may seem a little incredible, it is certainly entertaining. The physicality of the role is very impressive, Levitt having trained to wire walk with the genuine article, Phillip Petit himself.

Charlotte LeBon plays Petit’s girlfriend Annie but sadly does not make a big impression, most likely due to Levitt’s larger-than-life performance. This goes for most of the supporting cast. James Badge Dale and Ben Kingsley manage to make memorable impressions with only a few scenes each.

Part underdog story, part heist movie, The Walk does an excellent job in building the anticipation before the “coup” itself. At first, Petit’s idea is all innocent dreams and twinkly eyed fantasy. As Petit gets closer to the act itself the details become daunting and eventually frightening. Thrills lead to exhilaration when Petit takes his first step off the Tower and on to the wire.

Petit narrates gleefully and cartoonish throughout. His charisma thankfully keeps it from becoming grating. The Walk is filled with inventive and breathtaking takes. One has Petit press his chin to the tower wall and look straight up at the dizzying height. The most exciting (and nauseating) take occurs during the wire-walk’s beginning. The camera, as if attached to Levitt’s belt, captures his feet, the taut cable and the 1,350 foot drop below (I missed the opportunity to see this in 3D and I greatly regret it.)

The Walk’s ending may very well bring tears. Phillip Petit’s spectacular performance brought many New Yorkers around to admiring the Twin Towers whereas previously they were thought of as ugly. Respectfully, there is no mention of 9/11. There never needed to be. The Walk’s closing shot should leave theatre audiences in thoughtful, bittersweet silence.

Here is yet another wonderful film from visual maestro Robert Zemeckis. An attention grabbing central role from Levitt and special effects that touch the sky, The Walk is a great dose of cinematic magic.


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Written by:


Michael Keyes
Silences Band
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