The Walk 2
"Everything is wired for excitement."

When Hollywood remakes a foreign film more often than not it misfires.

Not this time. Robert Zemeckis, director of Back To The Future and The Polar Express, has taken on Man On Wire, the documentary about Philippe Petit's tightrope walk across the Twin Towers in New York in 1974.

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The plot is from the stranger-than-fiction back catalogue and deserves to be resurrected more often than the Transylvanian aristocracy. CGI is an art form that pushes the stationary when faced with mission impossible. Bob Z encourages innovation and is well known for ignoring the boundaries.

Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) starts as a street entertainer in Paris with a unibike and fundamental juggling skills before discovering a passion for wirewalking. With the help of Czech circus maestro Papa Rudy (Ben Kingsley) he becomes confident enough to take on Notre Dame.

After reading an article in a dentist's waiting room about the construction of the Twin Towers, he makes up his mind that this will be his next project.

The film is the story of that achievement. Despite knowing the outcome and what Petit and his accomplices did to sneak their equipment onto the roof of one of the buildings without being apprehended, the tension is tantamount to a punch in the solar plexus.

Meanwhile, director/co-writer Bob Z provides the visual reconstruction of the missing link in James Marsh's original doc, namely the walk itself.

You don't need to be scared of heights to be afraid. Everything is wired for excitement. The warning lights are on. And that choking feeling is your heart.

Reviewed on: 14 Feb 2016
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The Walk packshot
The story of French high-wire artist Philippe Petit's attempt to cross the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in 1974.

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Writer: Robert Zemeckis, Christopher Browne

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ben Kingsley, Charlotte Le Bon, James Badge Dale, Ben Schwartz

Year: 2015

Runtime: 100 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance


New York 2015

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Man On Wire