Movie Review Flashback: ‘Gravity’ Is Overrated

I love science-fiction films. There’s something so wildly imaginative of stories set within the science-fiction genre. My love for sci-fi films especially grew after I saw Interstellar for the first time four years ago in IMAX. It was honestly one of the trippiest and most incredible movie experiences I have ever had and even at home it still manages to wow me with its breathtaking visuals, the incredible musical score composed by Hans Zimmer, and its compelling story with a conclusion that makes me cry every time I watch it.

Since Interstellar I have become fascinated with science-fiction films that take imagination to the next level and try to tell an engaging story that leaves an impact on you. It’s why I went to see The Martian and Arrival in the movies theater and for the most part, enjoyed both of those films wholeheartedly.

Over the years I have heard brief mentions of a science-fiction movie that was supposed to be really good and that movie was Gravity. Yesterday I was scrolling through a bunch of free movies that were available to watch on my cable-device, Youtube TV, and to my great surprise, I ran into Gravity. I was elated. Finally, I would be able to see this movie that was supposedly so good it garnered 10 Oscar nominations, 7 of those 10 nominations becoming wins. I’ll talk about these nominations a little later but first I have to give you my opinion on the movie.

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Interstellar is one of my favorite movies of all time because its story gripped me from beginning to end and didn’t let go. And at first, Gravity had my undivided attention in the same fashion.

Sandra Bullock’s character, Ryan Stone, finds herself in a nightmarish situation as debris from a Russian missile launch gone wrong orbits around toward her space station’s position at 20,000 mph, devastating the space station, killing every other astronaut beside herself and George Clooney’s Matt Kowalski, and leaving her to drift horrifically in Earth’s orbit until her oxygen runs out.

But Matt Kowalkski soon comes to the rescue and together they begin a quest to get to the Russian space station where they can use the station’s escape pod to get down to Earth before the debris comes back around in orbit in 90 minutes. Sounds like an interesting plot for a movie right? Well, it was interesting, until it wasn’t.

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The movie’s runtime is a rather menial hour and thirty-one minutes and honestly, I’m glad, because the movie got awful really fast. I was enjoying the movie to a certain extent for the first, I’d say, thirty minutes or so. The situations were so intense I was starting to get a headache because I was stressing out so much.

But then (SPOILER ALERT! I’m about to delve into some deep spoiler territory so if you don’t want to know what happens in the movie read no further! Thanks for heeding this warning) George Clooney died way sooner than I expected and I, the viewer, was left to watch Sandra Bullock panicking for fifty minutes which was TORTURE!

I’m all into women empowerment in movies but this film didn’t feel very empowering to me. In fact, it felt like everything Sandra Bullock’s character did lead to some ridiculous disaster and that the only person with any sense of what to do was George Clooney. So without him, it was just a mess.

Imagine if a damsel in distress sort of character who’s afraid to even so much as touch a weapon had to fight a formidable villain. It would be an annoying display of watching a woman screaming, running, and barely attacking the antagonist for fifty minutes straight. That’s what Gravity felt like.

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In fact, there was a moment in the film that was supposed to be a “turning” point for Sandra Bullock’s character. She finds herself in the Chinese escape pod, she manages to miraculously survive another onslaught from the debris, but then she realizes the pod doesn’t have any fuel. It brings Ryan Stone to her lowest point and it seems that all hope is lost.

But then, out of nowhere, Clooney arrives (remember, by this point he’s supposed to be dead) and basically tells her to snap out of her misery and get the pod to Earth. She tells him that there’s no fuel but he reminds her that landing the pod is the same thing as flying the pod. It’s a brilliant solution to her problem that involves no fuel needed and then she wakes up.

You see, she was just dreaming, Clooney supposedly visited her in her sleep, and it’s his help that saves her life. It’s the classic damsel in distress philosophy. A woman isn’t anything unless a man saves her.

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She uses his advice, lands the pod, crashes to Earth, and at the end of the movie she stands tall, feeling proud of herself that she didn’t give up and managed to survive her horrific ordeal. End of story. Blah.

I honestly couldn’t believe how horrible this movie was. It left me wondering why I had just wasted an hour and a half of my life watching a hyperventilating woman floating in space for about 98% of the movie’s runtime. Gosh, it was annoying.

My Conclusion of the Film

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I don’t like to write overly negative reviews about a movie so I will list a blaring positive of the movie which was its visuals. Alfonso Cuaron won Best Director for the movie, becoming the first Hispanic and Mexican to receive the award. And I don’t have a problem with this. His directorial vision for the film was utterly phenomenal. The movie could’ve been utterly silent (which would’ve probably made the movie better actually) and his vision would’ve still told the story effortlessly.

Emmanuel Libezki won an Oscar for Best Cinematography which he also rightly deserved. I mean, the movie was utterly gorgeous. And the film also won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Visual Effects which also makes perfect sense as well.

The only thing that upsets me about these wins is that the very next year Interstellar only won one Oscar! and that was for Visual Effects. It wasn’t nominated for Best Picture or Best Director which it should’ve been. It didn’t get any recognition for its cinematography which seems like blasphemy. And none of the film’s actors got nominated for their incredible acting even though Sandra Bullock was nominated for Best Actress for simply panicking for over an hour straight. Anybody can panic!

This is quickly turning into a rant review so I’m going to stop now before I go any further. I’ll give the movie 61 out of 100 and 2 out of 5 stars. And that’s being generous (because I did somewhat enjoy the first thirty minutes.)

Don’t let this review discourage you from watching this movie though. This is just my opinion of the movie. You may actually love it like so many others have. I, personally, just found it very, very underwhelming.

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a beautiful day.

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