The Walk

"It satisfies as an absorbing yarn of authority-flouting adventure and as an example of stomach-flipping you-are-there-ness. The journey it offers viewers doesn't just span 140 feet, but also an ethereal, now-vanished, world." - Washington Post

"The line between gimmicky and magic can be mighty fine, but Robert Zemeckis masters it like a seasoned pro in The Walk. He brings the World Trade Center towers back to life in vivid detail, right down to the rust on the roof beams. But he does something more, something deeply moving. He makes us see the skyscrapers through the eyes of a driven dreamer.

"The dream belongs to Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a charmingly monomaniacal Frenchman who lives to walk the high wire. He has a circus mentor (Ben Kingsley), a girlfriend and a best friend/official photographer. He also has an unshakable ambition: to stretch his wire between the soon-to-be-completed Twin Towers and perform a death-defying walk. The first half of The Walk is pleasantly engaging, but that's all foreplay leading to what Petit calls "the coup," the grand performance with which he's obsessed.

"Two courses are served once The Walk hits downtown Manhattan, lovingly reimagined for the summer of 1974. The appetizer is the plotting of a caper, from the recruitment of a team of accomplices to laying out the details of an inspired criminal endeavor. The recruiting and planning zip along to a propulsive jazz score and a jocular camaraderie that would feel at home in one of the Ocean's Eleven movies. But we all know what the main event is here, and when it arrives the emotional impact hits like a thunderclap. As Gordon-Levitt's Petit stands before the void, ready to take his first steps, we're struck by how eerily real the towers feel. And then he goes out on the wire. It's one of the transcendent sequences in movie history, accentuated by the bliss of a man cheating death and our mourning of those who couldn't.

"You emerge from The Walk in a vertiginous daze of emotion, putty in the hands of a magician at the peak of his craft." - Dallas Morning News



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