How long has it been since we have seen a good dramatic film about space? I would have to go back as far as "Armageddon". And even that one got crucified by the critics. This one, on the other hand, they loved. Probably because it was MUCH more scientifically realistic. Or maybe because it had George Clooney in it and he can seemingly do no wrong. I could care less. I just wanted to see how they were going to get out of that predicament that was shown in the trailers.
In "Gravity", Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalksy (Clooney). They are supposed to be on a seemingly routine spacewalk. However, when a satellite explosion on the other side of the earth's orbit causes a chain reaction that endangers the mission, disaster strikes. In a matter of seconds, the shuttle is destroyed and Stone and Kowalsky are left to fend for themselves.
A dilemma that movies like this one will face immediately is the fact that the actors have to be good enough to carry the story by themselves for extended periods of time. All alone. Almost like Hanks in "Cast Away". If they don't have the same type of charisma, it can lull the viewer to sleep. Clooney does have that. Bullock is hit and miss. And her character here was a little on the dull side. I almost feel like they had to come up with a way to her get scantily clad so there was something else to keep us interested in watching.
My biggest problem was the convenient coincidences that were created in order to perpetuate the story. So supposedly an explosion took place that caused debris to destroy their space shuttle. Then how come that same debris didn't take out both of the space stations that they were trying to make it to? Okay...sure it did eventually, but it just so happened to not take place until Stone got what she needed from the space station. And would she really be able to navigate through an operating manual so easily to navigate a spaceship she's never been in before?
After the explosion that left them stranded, the film moved rather slowly. Even slower after one of the astronauts was left alone. I don't want to spoil too much (even though I probably just did) so I won't divulge which one. But come on now...I'm sure we've all seen enough disaster movies by now to know that both of them weren't going to make it back alive. Still, when it got down to one, the pace slowed down considerably and I was nearly put to sleep. It's not like there was fantastic scenery to keep one stimulated.
I've come to the conclusion that sites and/or critics like "Rotten Tomatoes" and myself clearly are not on the same page. There has been few instances when I have agreed with a film that received a glowing review like "Gravity". Or maybe I just went in expecting too much. I thought I was getting "Cast Away" in space. That would have been an excellent flick. Not this snorefest where the best moments are given away in the trailers.
My rating: C -