An essential requirement for any movie I watch is that it must be entertaining. Gravity fulfills this requirement in a unique way. It’s one of the few movies I’ve ever seen where the 3D version is most definitely better than the 2D version and it’s the only movie I’ve ever seen where 3D is actually a requirement. The manner in which this film is presented makes the 3D version so much better than the 2D version that seeing it in 2D is to miss part of the movie’s appeal. The use of 3D brings home the vastness of space, even when that space is in the immediate vicinity of earth.
Despite the categories you might have seen assigned to this film, it really doesn’t have anything to do with science fiction. This is a survival film that just happens to have its venue in space. It’s also pure fiction. You need to disregard a few laws of physics and suspend reality just a bit to enjoy the film. A lot of the film’s detractors decry the technical problems of the film and spend their time pointing out flaws, rather than enjoying what really is an entertaining film. If you want a balanced view of what’s wrong with this film technically and why you should ignore these issues, read What Does A Real Astronaut Think Of ‘Gravity’?. The point is, this is a movie, not a documentary.
Sandra Bullock does an outstanding job in the film. In fact, this is one of the better roles I’ve seen her in, even better than Miss Congeniality and Practical Magic. The way in which she moves throughout the film makes it quite believable that she really is in space doing all of these things. Her reactions to the challenges she faces are also quite convincing. I never found myself at the edge of my seat—the outcome was understood from the beginning, but I did find myself completely absorbed in how she would meet the challenges.
George Clooney is window dressing for the most part in this movie. Yes, he has a few interesting minutes, but for the most part the focus is on Sandra Bullock throughout. If anything, his performance lacked punch and he came off as a “know it all” with a complete lack of discipline. The movie could have been better still if they had used another actor or if his role had been changed to look more professional. Clooney really wasn’t the best choice for this film—what it really needed is someone who could act convincingly as both a professional astronaut and a mentor. He really is more suited to movies such as Ocean’s Eleven.
The plot for this movie is a bit thin. You really do know the outcome from the outset. Even so, Gravity does have some good moments and the filming is spectacular. It’s the kind of movie that you watch just a few times, but enjoy immensely the few times you do watch it. Once you get past the filming and the few surprises the movie has to offer, it really does lack substance. I’m glad that I saw it and I’ll watch it again given the chance, but it’s not the sort of movie that I’m likely to add to my collection.