(But not always in a good way)
Gravity is an extremely intense space opera about a woman who is trapped in orbit, with all of the shuttles and space stations in her reach falling victim to a violent debris field from a Russian satellite explosion. The visuals of the film are incredible, in fact they are probably the best I’ve ever seen, to the point where watching this film makes the viewer essentially feel as if they are tethered to Sandra Bullock’s character, paralyzed, and with a radio headset that only receives, so we can hear Sandra Bullock but she cannot hear us screaming or making suggestions. This makes for some extremely tense viewing experiences (extreme spoiler warning):
- DR. Ryan Stone(Bullock) is ignoring a direct order to disconnect her equipment and evacuate, due to approaching high speed satellite debris, YOU MIGHT DIE WITH HER BECAUSE OF THIS.
- Ryan is panicking too much to grab ahold of any nearby handholds on the International Space Station,YOU MIGHT DIE WITH HER BECAUSE OF THIS.
- Ryan will not use her free foot to to stop the tether wrapped around her other foot, (which is all that’s keeping her and George Clooney from floating away from the ISS) from slipping, GEORGE CLOONEY MIGHT DIE BECAUSE OF THIS.
- Ryan will not hurry the fuck up climbing to the airlock on the ISS, and in fact, keeps stopping, CHANCES OF SAVING GEORGE CLOONEY ARE DWINDLING BECAUSE OF THIS.
- Ryan curls up into fetal position inside the airlock for a fucking eternity after removing her spacesuit, CHANCES OF RESCUING GEORGE CLOONEY JUST WENT FROM 1 IN 1,000 TO FUCKING NIL BECAUSE OF THIS.
- Ryan passes by two small electrical fires in a compressed oxygen environment, and does not immediately address the issue, five minutes later it is an inferno, YOU MIGHT DIE WITH HER BECAUSE OF THIS.
- Ryan doesn’t brace herself before using a fire extinguisher in a zero gravity environment, resulting in her flying backwards, cracking her head, possibly leaving her unconscious in the middle of a Space Station consuming blaze, YOU MIGHT DIE WITH HER BECAUSE OF THIS.
- Ryan has managed to forget that the escape pod’s parachute is wrapped around the ISS, despite George Clooney having brought it up explicitly, ten minutes ago. She attempts to fly without disconnecting it, slingshotting your pod back at the ISS at hundreds of miles an hour, YOU MIGHT DIE WITH HER BECAUSE OF THIS.
- Ryan tries the same thing a second time, hoping the tethers snap, with the same awful results, because fuck it, that’s easier than going outside and disconnecting the chute, YOU MIGHT DIE WITH HER BECAUSE OF THIS.
- With an estimated 7 minutes on the clock before the debris hits the ISS a second time, Ryan opens the hatch, and then stares out into space for two minutes before even moving an inch towards the bolts she has to disconnect from the tethers, YOU MIGHT DIE WITH HER BECAUSE OF THIS.
- With an estimated 2 minutes on the clock before the debris starts ripping through the ISS and us, Ryan turns away from her work for at least a goddamn minute to look if she can see the debris field yet, YOU MIGHT DIE WITH HER BECAUSE OF THIS.
- The pod is disconnected, but is now out of fuel because of the first two times Ryan attempted thrust without disconnecting the tethers and then having to maneuver to avoid collision when that failed, YOU MIGHT DIE WITH HER BECAUSE OF THIS.
- Ryan throws her hands in the air and screams and cries after realizing there’s no fuel, instead of trying to think up outside-the-box ways of propelling the escape pod towards the Chinese space station, YOU MIGHT DIE WITH HER BECAUSE OF THIS.
- Ryan eventually turns off her CO2 so she can die peacefully instead of painfully, because she’s out of ideas, YOU MIGHT DIE WITH HER BECAUSE OF THIS.
- There is an Astronaut banging on Ryan’s port window, she stares in confusion for 30 seconds instead of jamming her helmet on immediately so said astronaut can either enter before running out of air, or rescue us, if this is actually a rescue mission, the astronaut is now opening the hatch with or without your damn permission, YOU MIGHT DIE WITH HER BECAUSE OF THIS.
- George Clooney is back, and he knows one of the outside-the-box ways I mentioned earlier of propelling the pod towards the Chinese space station, except, oh wait, no, George Clooney is in fact dead and lost, Ryan figured the method out on her own, but it took nearly suffocating and hallucinating to remember her training. Now we’ve wasted 45 minutes on crying and sleeping when she had the answer all along, YOU MIGHT DIE WITH HER BECAUSE OF THIS.
- All of the time that has been wasted has accumulated enough that the Chinese space station’s orbit is deteriorating, and it is tearing up in our atmosphere, there are now just minutes to launch its escape pod once on board, YOU MIGHT DIE WITH HER BECAUSE OF THIS.
- The control panel in the Chinese pod is nearly identical to the one from the ISS, and Clooney has already stated that it is in fact exactly the same, so now, like a keyboard that doesn’t contain English letters, you should still be able to find all of the function keys in short order because you already know where they are… except Ryan can’t do that, and she is now literally saying eeny-meeny-miney-moe, YOU MIGHT DIE WITH HER BECAUSE OF THIS.
- Upon landing in the ocean, near land, Ryan removes her helmet despite smoke from a console fire, YOU MIGHT DIE WITH HER BECAUSE OF THIS.
- Without putting her helmet back on, Ryan opens the hatch to escape the fire. The water flow makes it impossible to leave the sinking capsule until it is full, YOU MIGHT DIE WITH HER BECAUSE OF THIS.
So you see, the film has quite a lot of extremely edge-of-your-seat intense moments. Unfortunately, the character Dr. Ryan Stone is at fault for 90% of those situations being as bad as they are, and so you hate Ryan with a burning passion, and only wish for her survival because the film is shot well enough that you feel as though if she dies, you die.
George Clooney on the other hand was given a great character to play by the writers, which gives you all the more reason to hate Sandra Bullock’s character for not being resourceful enough to save his ass. Sandra Bullock did an excellent job on giving us the pain of the character, but because the writers gave her a character who creates all of her own problems, you don’t care how much pain she’s in, you just want her to toughen the fuck up, straighten out, and remember her goddamn NASA training.
I’m glad I saw this film, because it was a hell of a ride as far as films go, but I don’t think the filmmakers intended you to watch with your fists clenched in rage through the entire film, which was my case, and seemingly a lot of the rest of the audience’s case, and the case of most of my friends who have seen it.