Gravity – Review (Spoiler Free)

Gravity PosterUltimately Gravity isn’t much more than a pretty face.


I have to admit that technically this film is beyond impressive. The visuals and sound design don’t just create a believable and stunning location for the film to take place in, they instead truly transport you into it. It’s rare that such an obvious term can be used honestly, but here it’s warranted – I felt like I was there for most of the movie.

The extraordinary technical achievement is pretty much the film’s only real achievement however. Gravity‘s plot is weak, it really is. I can completely get on board with a film about astronauts stranded in space after a catastrophic disaster if the film doesn’t then stretch all believability by forcibly upping the tension and drama to crazy heights. This film need to scale things down just a little and let the terrifying qualities of space speak for themselves a little more. I am not saying that I am not willing to suspend my disbelief here; I expect to with any film pretty much, let alone one set in space, however Gravity really does stretch that regularly in order to seek out the next grand scale moment of disaster.

Gravity Still

Credit has to be given to Sandra Bullock for her performance. She has a lot of pressure put on her to carry this one and she does a good, if not outstanding job. The biggest issue holding her back is the rather weak dialogue that plagues this script and her underwritten character. Some potentially deep psychological issues are attached to her character Ryan, however these just sort of float about, occasionally rearing their head in quiet periods of the film, but never do they really develop or go through a process of meaningful change. It all just feels so surface level. George Clooney similarly has little to do other than act charismatic. If we are meant to care about these people then we need much more than we are given here.

I am pretty certain that I am going against popular opinion here, however as much as Gravity is an exceptionally pretty and involving experience, it has just too many weakness to overlook.  I have heard some people praise the thematic depth which is embedded within the film, sorry but as far as I can make out, anything here just feels half-baked and meaningless.I don’t mean to bring damnation down upon this one; I enjoyed watching it, up to a point, but in my opinion it doesn’t deserve the acclaim which it has received.

Summary:

What is the film’s greatest strength? It’s visuals without a doubt.

Its greatest weakness? Now that would be the paper thin writing.

Would I see it again? I don’t feel any real need to be honest.

Tap out your thoughts in the comment box below!

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24 comments

  1. Nice review. Completely agree with you on this one. Gravity falls short when it comes to the plot. I only enjoyed watching it for its breathtaking visuals & the heightened drama.

    1. Cheers! That is really great to hear, I thought that I was somewhat on my own with this one!
      The visuals sure are breathtaking in this one… it has that.

    2. I feel like this is what they used to call a ripping yarn.

  2. Interesting review man.

    1. Cheers buddy!

  3. Nice review and I agree. While I was amazed by my initial watch, I didn’t find it very impressive later mostly due to its lackluster story. It was great to see it in theaters though.

    1. Thank you, it’s good to hear that we agree on this! I can imagine that it looked amazing on the big screen, I wish that I had seen it there.

  4. Fantastic review James! Thrilled to hear that I am not alone on the thin plot!

    1. Cheers Zoë! Very glad to have you with me on this, it seems several people agree which is surprising!

      1. I got flak on my site hahahaha!

        1. I thought I would here too, but people have been pretty kind it seems!

          1. You lucky fish 😉

  5. Good review Rumsey. Like you said, it’s pretty. And it’s pretty damn tense, too. But man, that screenplay. Don’t get me started, we all know this ends.

    1. Thanks Dan! Yeah the screenplay was unbelievable, some horrible dialogue in there as well as everything else.

  6. Loved it! Who cares about the plot. There are plenty of films with no plot that look rubbish, so Gravity is already a winner in my book!

    1. Well fair enough! I hear you, but it is films like this and Prometheus which are beautiful but poorly written which really bug me!

  7. Bummer. I thought the movie was tremendous. I love the spiritual undercurrents that ran throughout. I loved the story and its vision of rebirth renewal. I loved Bullock’s performance. And of course I loved the spectacular visuals. I guess all of that was why it was my favorite film from last year. 🙂

    1. I wish we could agree on this one Keith! I think we can agree on it looking amazing, but otherewise the writing really didn’t do too much for me. The ‘I hate space’ line being a good example!

      1. I just talked to a colleague who feels the same as you did. I happen to love the spiritual themes of the film which actually works because of the simple plot. So I’m with Keith on this one, to me there’s more to it than the visual spectacle. But hey to each their own I suppose.

        1. Ah, well fair enough Ruth!
          I really like the idea of the spiritual themes coming through to due to the simplicity of the plot, but for me the thematic elements were left just too basic and under explored in order to appreciate that.

  8. Awesome review! I get where you are going with this. Its extremely pretty to look at and it was super intense (even though it was the most uncomfortable theatre experiences ever which had nothing to do with the movie). However, I am with you on the fact that I probably wouldn’t watch this again because I believe that the greatness of it is in the visuals and the effects on a big screen. I’m not sure watching it at home really has that same effect.

    1. Cheers!
      Sorry to hear that you had an uncomfortable cinema experience Kim. It seems we are on the same page here then. I think seeing it away from the big screen really allows you to spot some of the weaknesses in the script, rather than being caught up in the experience.

      1. Uncomfortable as in some crazy woman decided that they wanted to bring their dog to the theatre…Imagine the surprise when I heard a growl coming from behind me…haha. We almost went outside to complain…

        1. Wow that’s both distracting and intimidating – no wonder you wanted to complain!

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