I may cop a bit of heat over this decision but I truly believe that Alfonso Cauron’s “Gravity” is 2013’s most overrated film. “Gravity” is not a film that I hated, in fact quite the opposite, I enjoyed it a lot but it is not the bE all and end all that so many people think it is. Granted, the technical achievements behind the film just to get this story on screen are amazing and the level of cinematic bravura shown from a behind the camera perspective should not be overlooked; they are truly stellar and in this regard “Gravity” is a very special film. It really does give you some sense of what it must be like floating in nothingness in the middle of space. However as good as the filmmaking behind “Gravity” is, the film as a whole has its fair share of problems.
Firstly the script, which was written by the director and his son Jonas Cauron, is clunky as hell. Some of the dialogue is excruciatingly bad and overly manipulative. A scene in particular that I hated was when Sandra Bullock’s character is talking about her deceased daughter. It is a scene that adds nothing to the situation and feels like an attempt by the writers to create sympathy for the character that just isn’t needed. Speaking of Bullock, although she is getting enormous praise for her portrayal of Ryan Stone (a rookie astronaut whose expertise is as a medical engineer), I just did not buy her for a second in the role. I did not find her believable at all and the scene when she barks like a dog towards the end was just embarrassing. I’m sure this was meant to be a sad and poignant moment for Stone, but I cringed in embarrassment for Bullock in trying to make this moment seem real. Even George Clooney, an actor I normally love, I felt was totally wrong in the role of veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski. Again, I just did not find him believable and the scene at the beginning when he is going around Stone in his jet pack, neglectfully wasting its fuel defies belief of a man who is meant to be a professional. The final insult to the Clooney character comes in a ridiculous scene that appears towards the end that I will not ruin, but will say, I hated immensely. It is the worst scene of the film and should have been excised because it is truly laugh worthy and takes you out of the film. It is my belief that for “Gravity” to have truly worked it needed to star no-name actors, people the audience had never seen before, but with the film costing as much as it did to make, I understand why this would have been impossible to do so.
Again, let me state that I think “Gravity” is a good film, and a brilliant technical achievement, but it is a film with some serious flaws. What I did love about “Gravity” was Emmanuel Lubezki’s stunning cinematography, Cauron’s flawless direction (shame about his writing), the brilliant special effects and I love that they dared to show the reality of space that is a place without sound, which made the silent explosions even more special. Despite how great all of that is, “Gravity” is still the film of 2013 that I think is most overrated.