The Walk 3D Blu-ray Review
THE WALK is a spectacle of a movie, based on the true story of Philippe Petit and his incredible feat of walking between the World Trade Center towers in 1974. But THE WALK isn’t necessarily a good movie because at the end of the day, the act is more impressive than it is interesting and so the audience finds themselves waiting for the last 30 minutes so we can see how director Robert Zemeckis is going to wow us with effects. That said, THE WALK might be worth it for those with 3D capabilities and that are willing to risk a little vertigo.
Petit (Gordon-Levitt) is a French, amateur sidewalk performer that specializes in walking across wires. He learns the art of wire-walking from Papa Rudy (Kingsley), who manages circus performers. When Petit learns of the existence of the Two Towers, he makes it his life goal to move to America and walk across them. To do so, he needs a team and so he recruits some friends and acquaintances along the way, including his love interest Annie (Le Bon).
There are two ways to look at THE WALK; as a movie and as a spectacle. Judging it solely as a movie, it had some problems, most notably the obnoxiousness of Petit. He’s brash, cocky and generally unlikeable, blindly driven to perform what’s really just a circus stunt, albeit an incredible one. For those that saw the documentary MAN ON WIRE, you already know Petit is a little obnoxious and Gordon-Levitt does his best to make him more likeable, but he could only do so much. The other problem with the film is that everything is hinging on the audience’s willingness to root for Petit to pull of his stunt and when you stop and think about it, you shouldn’t really care. We only want him to pull everything off so we can see some cool 3D effects. But Zemeckis does his best job of creating a tense situation while we follow Petit and his team trying to prepare the stunt. The cut-scenes to Gordon-Levitt narrating on top of the Statue of Liberty were distracting, but the movie wouldn’t have worked without narration. Gordon-Levitt did a fine job as Petit, as did newcomer Charlotte Le Bon. Ben Kingsley was his usual self and everyone else did fine with what they had.
The real star of the film were the special effects, which brings us to the spectacle of the film. THE WALK has to be seen in 3D because everything is made worthwhile once Petit makes it to the top of the World Trade Center and begins his walk. For those that get wheezy at the thought of heights should stay away as Zemeckis did an incredible job of giving the audience the sense of danger as Petit walked across the cables. Plus, it was beautiful to behold and for a brief moment, the audience could feel like they were actually walking across the Two Towers, just as Petit did over 40 years ago.
THE WALK 3D BLU-RAY REVIEW
So as you can tell, I’m a bit conflicted with the walk, but I have to admit that the 3D effects were truly magnificent and worth trudging through the film. The problem, of course, is that the 3D format really hasn’t caught on and so I’m not sure THE WALK will ever find the audience it needs. But if you have a 3D system, then this will probably be your go-to disc to show off your system’s capabilities.
Video: The 2D transfer was just as nice as the 3D transfer.
Audio: The audio was fine.
Deleted Scenes (6:17): Nothing too noteworthy with these scenes and all of them were probably cut for pacing reasons.
First Steps – Learning to Walk the Wire (9:12): JGL actually learned about wire walking from Philippe Petit himself, so it was fun to see them interact. This is mostly about the art of wire walking and JGL’s preparations for the film.
Pillars of Support (8:26): This featurette focuses on the supporting characters in the film.
The Amazing Walk (10:47): This is kind of like a making-of featurette and looks at how they made the film.