The story of French high-wire artist Philippe Petit's attempt to cross the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in 1974.
ActorsStarring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ben Kingsley, Charlotte Le Bon, Ben Schwartz, James Badge Dale, Steve Valentine, Mark Camacho, Sergio Di Zio, Clément Sibony, Kwasi Songui, Melantha Blackthorne, Benedict Samuel, Jason Blicker, Larry Day, Karl Graboshas
There are a lot of things wrong, or at least not quite right, with this movie. It follows the true story of Philippe Petit, the Frenchman who walked a high-wire between the Twin Towers in New York in 1974.
It starts off with introducing Joseph-Gordon Levitt as Petit. He narrates from the top of the Statue of Liberty, or he narrates as voice-over, or he narrates in character, but he never not narrates. Must be in case the viewer may miss something of the story. And Gordon-Levitt narrates and over-acts his Frenchness with such aplomb, I can only imagine he modelled his character on Pepé Le Pew himself…
We are initially transported to an overly romanticised version of Paris, where Gordon-Levitt stays true to his Pepé Le Pew persona and courts La Belle Femme Fatale: Annie (played by Charlotte Le Bon, who can act with her face, but she has yet to master any expressiveness in her voice in English). Petit’s dreams of being a high wire artist grow rapidly from 0 – 100 and he essentially starts with the biggest ambition before he can even walk any line at all. And there must be some darker and sharper edges to someone like Petit with such grand ambitions and determination, yet all we really see is this cute naive dreamer almost all of the time.
As the action is transplanted to New York, Petit and Annie build a band of accomplices, who each are a mere one-dimensional caricature and add little value to the story as a whole other than being needed for the plot.
And yet, it is a very entertaining movie. The story itself is appealing of course, but maybe it actually is the high degree of Pepé Le Pew-ness of the acting – if it doesn’t turn you off, it just makes you smile. And the finale is great filmmaking by Zemeckis – beautiful and engaging cinematography of The Walk itself. Sweaty palms guaranteed.
A fun film to watch with the family.
A generous 7/10.