Gravity (2013) – Review

After two astronauts are forced to work together to survive an accident leaving them stranded in outer space, things quickly become more complex than they’d originally hoped. Their shuttle is destroyed, leaving them alone, spiralling quickly into the blackness. This highly rated blockbuster managed to claim a staggering seven Oscar awards along with a countless number of other wins and nominations too. A visually spectacular movie but one that didn’t quite live up to the lofty expectations some had set.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Director: Alfonso Cuaron
Writers: Alfonso Cuaron, Jonas Cuaron
Starring: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris

It’s pretty rare that it takes me so long to get round to watching a film revolving around the subject of space travel, but for some unknown reason, it’s taken me over seven years to check out Gravity. Other Sci-Fi flicks in the form of Interstellar (2014), The Martian (2015) and Ad Astra (2019) have all been reviewed on this website and it has to be said, I do think highly of them in their own ways, so I was extremely eager to find out whether I would regard Gravity as being on the same level of those mentioned previously.

Something highly publicised and well known, is the fact that Gravity is widely regarded as a cinematic masterpiece in terms of visual effects and that’s not something I can argue against. You could probably mute the film, bypass the storyline in its entirety, and simply sit back and enjoy the visuals alone. Not only was the flick easy on the eye, but the soundtrack was that of a top tier film also – it wasn’t overbearing, nor was it overly dramatic, and overall it really seemed to suit the movie and general direction.

Sadly, however, I never really found myself investing into the characters on an emotional level, nor could I get behind the storyline put forward. There wasn’t a tremendous amount of backstory given to any of the personalities on display, which didn’t really help on that front, but at the same time that can be expected to some extent in films of this nature. At times, you must let realism and logic take a backseat and simply enjoy films like this for what they are – visually spectacular rather than clear, logical and convincing on a storyline front.

With that being said, the acting from both Sandra Bullock and George Clooney seemed pretty authentic and believable from the off. Whenever the pair were together, they seemed to have enough chemistry to make the flick an enjoyable and convincing watch. Bullock portrayed Ryan Stone, a slightly inexperienced astronaut, while Clooney adopted the role of Matt Kowalski, the more experienced of the duo that was planning to retire post-mission. Elsewhere, Ed Harris was credited as voicing “mission control” but was never seen on-camera.

On a whole, whenever a movie claims so much adulation upon its release and consequently collects so many awards, it’s difficult at times to see past that when seeing the movie yourself. For sure, Gravity was beautiful to watch, but I don’t think it quite matched up to the standards of other films in this genre.

“Houston, I have a bad feeling about this mission.”

Matt Kowalski – Gravity

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