We’ve had some memorable movie villains this year — giant hamburgers, Jodie Foster, the Mandarin, Gargamel, Kaiju, zombies, Khan, Zod and even Kevin Bacon. But none have been so impassive, implacable and dreadful as the force faced by Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in Gravity.
It is Newton’s third law, and it states that for every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction. Ignore it at your peril, because it sure as heck won’t ignore you, especially on the three-dimensional billiard table of space. Pull on a rope, push on a wall, fire a rocket; it all shoves back.
We meet this universal foe in the opening shot of the film, a 17-minute cinematic virtuoso than rolls by without a single cut — or, in this age of digital trickery, better to say without a single visible cut. Clearly, director Alfonso Cuarón also didn’t travel to low-Earth orbit to film this, but you could be forgiven for thinking he did. Rating: * * * *
(Photo: Warner Bros.)