Gravity is Weightless1/10
Did those who've written glowing reviews of Gravity see the same movie I did? Look, I wanted to like this flick, I really did. And I don't want to rag on it, but if you're going to make a dramatic science thriller, you had better get it right or expect to catch it from the smart people. Despite the cosmic setting, the only star I can give Gravity is for the computer generated graphics.That said, this is not a movie for intellectuals and those of a scientific bent will be sorely disappointed. What made Ron Howard's Apollo 13 so gripping was its dramatic realism and superb acting. Unfortunately, none of those adjectives applies to Gravity, with the possible exception of some drama. However, for thinkers, effective drama requires an intellectual investment in the credibility of the story, the characters and the interaction between them. Intelligent humans need to believe that what is being depicted could actually happen. Unfortunately, the events depicted in Gravity are likely to alienate anyone with an above average IQ. Once one has acknowledged the impressive graphics, any anticipation of emotional investment is quickly dashed to smithereens by the unbelievably vapid and inane dialog. It is painfully obvious that someone with a double-digit scientific IQ appears to have awoken one morning and haphazardly decided to write a "space movie". The physics are off, the events highly improbable. The entire story demands a suspension of belief in reality. Worst of all, the dialog and interaction between the characters is so juvenile that anyone with a brain gets the immediate impression that the project is the product of sophomoric show-biz types who think that the way to move the product is to recycle hackneyed cliches, shiny objects and big explosions. Bullock's character, Dr. Ryan Stone, is so unprepared and emotionally disabled by adversity that it is impossible to believe that she would have been selected as a mission specialist. Yet, she manages to flit from one space wreck to another and yet another. She consults operation manuals in Russian and, later, Chinese, yet she is heard muttering "eeny meeny miney mo" while haphazardly pushing control buttons like some clueless chimpanzee. The space vehicle's communication equipment fails to pick up "Houston Control", yet, miraculously, is able to receive a bizarre Chinese comedy and howling dogs, which Bullock's character feels compelled to imitate. Clooney's character, Matt Kowalski, is such a cliched hero that he is depicted as nonchalantly jesting with the hysterical Dr. Stone while he himself is drifting into a desperately life-ending situation. We are expected to believe that, despite having trained intimately together for this mission, these characters address each other by their formal titles and make cliched announcements back to a non-responsive mission control. Kowalksi has waited until he's drifting to his death to ask where Dr. Stone is from and if she has any kids. Finally, director Cuaron makes a supremely lame attempt at cinematic iconography depicting Bullock floating in a fetal position, a la Kubrick's Space Odessey. And after having had such a bad day and having plunged to Earth in a flaming meteor-like reentry, Stone emerges, unscathed and barefoot mind you, from the ocean onto an idyllic, uninhabited beach like some primal human emerging from the sea. Now, I feel bad about feeling bad about this movie. And I respect Ms. Bullock and Mr. Clooney as actors. However, it is my humble opinion that actors must assume some responsibility for the roles they accept. This movie was so cringe-worthy that the only reason I sat through it was to see how ridiculous it would get. Alas, other than the black hole into whose abyss was irretrievably sucked away any hope I once had for discovering intelligent life in this movie, "Gravity" lacked gravitas.