- Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Philippe Petit
- Ben Kingsley as Papa Rudy
- Charlotte Le Bon as Annie Allix
- James Badge Dale
- Ben Schwartz as Albert
- Steve Valentine as Barry Greenhouse
Plot- In 1974, high-wire artist Philippe Petit recruits a team of people to help him realize his dream: to walk the immense void between the World Trade Center towers.
Review-In the early 70’s, professional high-wire walker/lunatic Philippe Petit decided to walk between the then unfinished Twin Towers and now, over 40 years later, Robert Zemeckis (Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Back to the Future, Forest Gump) has brought his story to the big screen.
Now, this is not the first time that the silver screen has played host to this story, Man on Wire was released in 2008 and won the Academy Award for best documentary.
As for this version? It winds up being really good, but it’s a bit of a slog to get to the good stuff.
It starts really badly with Joseph Gordon-Levitt talking directly to the audience atop a slightly blurry CGI version of the statue of liberty in a wandering accent and terrible wig. Unfortunately, what I hoped to be a one time gimmick kept re-appearing. I shouldn’t really have to tell you this Mr. Zemeckis but cinema is a visual medium. Show, don’ tell and if you have to keep telling me what characters are feeling/thinking/doing go back and re-do your script.
Latecomers will be pleased to know that the first third is purely an origin/training montage with more narration. Also, Sir Ben Kingsley(still enjoying his break from acting) turns up as Papa Rudy, a mentor to our main character with an even more wandering accent.
From there the film develops an oceans 11 type vibe as too many characters are introduced, coincidences happen and the team are able to get in place for the main event. The walk between the towers.
And what an event it is. Forget the rest of the film, when Philippe is on the wire, its an amazing experience, arguably one of the greatest scenes is Hollywood history. The camera zooming and swooping with the monologue helping as it should, the screen showing us the real world and the world inside his head. It’s worth the price of admission and more alone.
It also inspired vertigo in about half the audience so please be aware.
And, for the first time since Dredd, this is a film that needs to be seen in 3D on the biggest screen you can, watching this on your flat-screen won’t have anything near the impact.
Throw in a pretty good period authentic soundtrack and you have a slightly rushed film that celebrates one mans insane, wonderful dream.
My Score- See it.