I just went to see the movie “Gravity,” starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, and directed by Alfonso Cuarón. Most of the critics have given it a big build-up, with one even saying that it “made other spectaculars look leaden.” It is well shot, with almost the entire action taking place in space and zero gravity, and is visually convincing – I saw it in 3D and found it easy to imagine that being in space is just like that. It’s exciting, in that one thing seems to go wrong after another, rather like in “Apollo 13,” with ingenuity required if each crisis is to be overcome.
Despite all this I found it curiously empty. There are only two characters in it, and they are very lightly sketched. There is not a great deal of plot. An accident happens and they try to survive it. There are no great themes or deep thoughts. Space is dangerous; but we knew that. The movie is a series of action sequences, which is fine because the action is good. The movie begins to drag a little in some of the soliloquy sequences.
The critics were fairly kind to “Ender’s Game,” though were not overwhelmed by it, yet they were overwhelmed by “Gravity” which in my book is not a patch on “Ender’s Game.” “Ender’s Game” has mind as well as action, with ruthless Earth authorities training and using children for war without regard to what it does to them or how it will leave them afterwards. “Ender’s Game” has character development as young Ender acquires the confidence to command. “Gravity” is good to look at and has enough excitement to sustain it, but little more. My advice is to see both, but it is scenes from “Ender’s Game” that will linger in the mind afterwards.
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