DISCLAIMER: spoiler alert
Gravity, arguably one of the most popular movies to be released in 2013, opened in theaters on October 4, 2013. Despite its extended stay in theaters, it still continues to impress viewers and maintain its spot at the top of the box office. Gravity features a doctor named Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) whose team, during a mission in space to install new technology in a satellite, is hit by a wave of space debris, the result of a Russian missile strike on a neighboring satellite. The rest of her group is killed, and Stone, accompanied by the only other survivor Matt Kowalski (George Clooney), embarks on a journey of both tragedy and self discovery.
However, Gravity is not the perfect movie it has been made out to be. Not only does most of its appeal lie solely in its visual effects, but it also includes a tiring, slightly cheesy Murphy’s Law theme (Wikipedia defines this idea as “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”) and moves too slowly, repelling younger audiences in favor of an exciting night out with friends. Initially, the effects and intensity of the film are enough to keep one at the edge of their seat, but after the first three life-threatening events Bullock faces and miraculously survives, it is difficult to remain focused on the plot line. This is because the entire movie takes place during the span of a mere few hours and follows Bullock through peril after peril. Due to the lack of accompanying characters, there is little dialogue, and enjoyment thus depends completely on visual appeal.
Furthermore, Gravity‘s barely-there plot surrounds itself around the theme of Murphy’s Law. The entirety of Bullock’s adventure is driven by this thought. Every station she takes refuge in is destroyed. Debris comes flying towards her at the worst moments. With only a single theme pushing the story forward, it becomes dry and tiring to follow Ryan Stone as she struggles through each challenge, barely surviving through unrealistic luck..
It is also difficult to remain captivated by a weak plot. Despite the obstacles placed against Bullock, she perseveres, being the strong and courageous heroine portrayed in every other film featuring a female lead. And she perseveres. And she perseveres. Through each and every one of the seemingly endless array of difficulties she carries on. By the sixth problem, the depressing theme crosses the threshold between intense and predictable. There is no ray of sunshine throughout the movie and viewers find themselves thinking, You’re so close! Oh, never mind. The letdown is crushing, but simply misses the intended connection between character and audience. After so much defeat, it is tiring to keep rooting for a broken and oxygen-deficient Bullock.
Gravity is overall a fantastic visual experience, but it is debatable as to if it is one of the top movies of all time. It is interesting and exciting for the first half hour but becomes difficult to focus on after the initial action and drama, and overall appeals to an older audience in search of symbolism in their entertainment. When it leaves theaters and will no longer be viewed on a 40-foot-long screen, for those looking for a fun night out, it will also no longer be worth it.