Gravity  (2013)    0/100

Rating :   0/100              COMPLETE INCINERATION            91 Min        12A

Goodness. This is one of those films with big name stars and a huge amount of advertising behind it – all but ensuring its success despite the fact it is beyond abysmal, as the sending of Sandra Bullock into space seems to augur the destruction of pretty much every man made object orbiting the planet and we spend most of the film watching her flailing her arms around helplessly screaming ‘What do I do?! What do I do?!’. In fact, I’m surprised the moon managed to survive and wasn’t somehow thrown out of its orbit by her endless mewling.

The film opens with Bullock busying herself attaching something to the Hubble Space Telescope (which, naturally, she will represent the harbinger of doom for very quickly). We learn that NASA have sent her up there after a mere six months training (the ill fated monkeys they sent into space probably had more prep time) – the reason being she has developed some kind of new instrument for scanning deep space, despite the fact she tells us before this she worked in a hospital and it was developed for use there. Clearly, NASA did not have another astronaut capable of plugging the thing in – certainly not if her pilot George Clooney is anything to go by, whom we see whizzing by playing with his jetpack and listening to country music while she’s attaching her array. As if. One malfunction and that’s you off into deep space pal, no more “Whee Whee! Look at me I’m George Clooney!”

Having thus scuppered any pretence at realism, moments into the film we learn that Russia have missiled one of their defunct satellites which sets off a ‘chain reaction’ of debris (with the high energies involved, and the amount of things in orbit, space debris is a real danger for astronauts and the idea of a chain reaction creating more and more of the stuff has been theorised by the Kessler syndrome since the late seventies). Unfortunately for our intrepid space walkers, and their token Indian comrade, this creates a large amount of orbiting missile objects – which, despite these satellites being spread around in different orbits (and despite the lack of any coherency from what mission control are saying {which sees Ed Harris reprise his previous role from ‘Apollo 13’ before the comms go down} or indeed the lack of any visible missile going off or for that matter the feasibility of one being fired in the first place), has somehow resulted in all the debris arriving together to form one gigantic MONSTER which also just so happens to be in the exact correct path to annihilate everything else that we the human race have put into space, albeit with a little help from Sandra Bullock. Queue lots of arms flapping hopelessly around for the next hour and a half, occasionally interjected with a smug anecdote from Clooney.

The visuals of the Earth are very nice, but they are ruined by the camera spinning around constantly to the point of excess, nauseating the audience if they happen to find the Earth more interesting to look at than the principal leads. The physics never rings true, the dialogue is tragically bad, it never really feels like they’re in space and there’s even a disgustingly grotesque attempt to have Bullock float around and mimic a sort of embryo with various cords floating around her, as if director Alfonso Cuarón (‘Y Tu Mamá También’ 01, ‘Children of Men’ 06) thinks he’s Stanley Kubric. A film chock-full of stupidity from beginning to end with cringe worthy tension at best – even has Bullock running out of oxygen and Clooney decide to engage her in conversation, burning even more oxygen, plus they actually had a very obvious source of more oxygen that they completely ignored. One of the worst films for both actors – both ‘Batman & Robin’ (97) for Clooney and ‘All About Steve’ (09) for Bullock are more entertaining. Look out for the same floating pen that follows Bullock around no matter where she goes – also, the current televised ad for this film has some of John Murphy’s music playing in it: this music has nothing to do with the movie, but is in fact from Danny Boyle’s ‘Sunshine’ (07) which is ironically a much, much better science fiction film.

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