The Walk

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Year Released: 2015
Rating: 2.5

French juggler/high-wire artist Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), busy doing street performances in his native Paris, dreams going to New York City and walking on a wire between the two Twin Towers, so he goes there with his girlfriend (Charlotte Le Bon) and some friends to attempt the dangerous feat (he succeeds, of course). Basically Post-9/11 Nostalgia, it plays heavily on feelings about the terrorist attacks that eliminated both structures (once considered "ugly" and then "humanized" and finally "destroyed" in the most tragic way imaginable), with Zemeckis in full Gee Golly Shucks mode (Gordon-Levitt narrates from the top of the Statue of Liberty!), crafting a well-shot and tense but still Apple Pie-baking chunk of hammy Americana (though Gordon-Levitt's impersonation of Petit is that of a stereotypical Frenchman, the real-life Petit does act like that). Still, it feels like an early Hollywood feel-good movie (at a time when cynicism is the norm), and I like how Zemeckis (working from Petit's book) treats Petit's routine with respect as incredibly risky 'performance art' (being 'performed' roughly 1,362 feet in the air, with only "the void" below). Likelihood of anyone doing this again, nowadays, without getting tossed in prison: zilch.