Robert Zemeckis, legendary producer of the no-less-legendary trilogy of Back to the future, was composed by the following as and to the extent that its following movies, a work placed under the sign of diversity, which strikes us today by his hétéroclisme. In pursuit of the green diamond, Who wants the skin of Roger Rabbit, Forrest Gump, Contact and Alone in the World, as cult movies or very great qualities, just prior to a second part of the career, begun by the 2000s, in the teeth of a saw. We think of the fantasy thriller Appearances pretty average, and then three animated films in motion capture. Recently, we were stayed on his return to film “live” with Flight which, although worn by a terrific Denzel Washington, which was divided, by some narrative choices and formal clumsier.

In this gargantuan year-end 2015 will offer to us its latest creation, THE WALK, recounting the true story of the tightrope walker French Philippe Petit, who gave him a crazy crossing in 1974 between the famous towers of the World Trade Center, then still under construction. Supported by a marketing the top promoting, of course, the 3D and offering for the lucky few an experience of virtual reality, the title role is also played by a Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who worked thoroughly French. Despite all these efforts, as much as to say from the outset that once again, the result is likely to be divisive.

THE WALK, (stupidly subtitled “Dream above“) opens via a bias narrative slightly confusing. A formula exhausted, very theatrical but very effective to facilitate quick immersion of the viewer in the story about to be told. As the film starts only, and that we have just to screw the 3D glasses on our nose, we accept both good and bad, a little under duress, to follow the events leading up to Philippe Petit to reach its wire to New York, between the two largest towers in the world. This seems trivial, however, as any good prologue that respect, this one is no exception to the rule, and announces already the whole way in which the film will run : to move quickly to capitalize on the ease with which the viewer forgets. He will probably forget more easily the enormous burdens they’ll swing at the figure. At the risk of flirting with indigestion.

As cited earlier, it is a Joseph Gordon-Levitt transformed, which embodies Philippe Petit in English almost flawless, and the French more than approximate… once again, this small detail may seem harmless or even amusing at the beginning, turns out to the contrary, a certain problem as to the credibility of the whole. To justify this choice of casting and non-use of the French language, he repeated many, many times, often to its partners, our francophone Charlotte Le Bon and Clement Sibony, he has a need to express themselves in English in the context of his american adventure as he prepares with them. Either. What is lourdingue, it is this need that we repeat it too many times throughout the coil (more than 3, easily). Yes, the viewer is stupid, but in some boundaries, please. Ditto for the character of Ben Kingsley and his foreign accent more ludicrous than stunning. One wonders, therefore, if such a device film very similar to blockbuster, level budget, technical means and big casting for the stars international, was appropriate to treat such a story, quite spectacular but also intimate and simple.

The major concern here is the surfeit which installs slowly, but surely. If Zemeckis narrowly avoids the trap of the camera american film Paris, during the first part, namely the characters with berets and baguettes of bread under the arm, walking on a music ofEdith Piaf, we landed the score ubiquitous ofAlan Silvestri, he draws constantly for heavily stressed an emotion. This is also the case for the rest of the staging, who did not hesitate to send the famous slow-motion epic stuck in the good feelings.

However, in the hybrid movie as it is, THE WALK is not a total failure. This is the second part that saves the whole. Indeed, the arrival in New York surprise us nicely by giving a nice boost to a story that we were not really that far. Zemeckis seems to finally regain a sense of control (what could be better than an American to shoot his country ?), its staging is more toned and his film eyeing the same side of the thriller retro, enough tonic and sometimes panting, wrapping multiple sequences of suspense quite nice. Then, when the time comes for the piece of bravery, promised a little bit everywhere, from the synopsis to the poster, even in the trailers, one is surprised to finally feel something beautiful, moving, almost, that takes the pure pleasure of the cinema (the picture and the frame are also for something), before letting miserably wallow in the one-upmanship and complete fantasy. It is a pity, because the feeling of being spent at the side of a great film is persistent when the lights come back on.

“With THE WALK, Robert Zemeckis avoids the fall of accuracy, more convincing and interested in its nostalgic tribute to the past of the towers, where he abandoned finally his large hooves.”

For its part, the 3D does the job, allowing themselves very nicely to enjoy : the image is sharp and the decrease in brightness is not as pronounced as elsewhere. As for the sensations to speak of, everything will depend on your own fear of the void, some shooting subjective camera that can perhaps succeed in their small effect.

In the end, one has the feeling that Robert Zemeckis has taken hold of the story of Philippe Petit as a pretext. It is because of its obvious nostalgic tribute to the past at the World Trade Center that are chosen at the end of the projection, and it is also what has most stimulated in THE WALK, in spite of its defects.


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Original title : The Walk

Achievement : Robert Zemeckis

• Screenplay : Robert Zemeckis and Christopher Browne, the performance of Philippe Petit

• Main actors : Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ben Kingsley, Charlotte Le Bon, Clément Sibony, James Badge Dale

• Country of origin : United States

• Release Date : October 28, 2015

• Duration : 2h03min

• Distributor : Sony Pictures Releasing France

• Synopsis :Biopic on the tightrope of frenchman Philippe Petit, famous for having joined in 1974 the two towers of the World Trade Center on a wire, suspended over the void.


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