Think of the most insane thing you’ve ever done. Now multiply it by 1000, fire it out of a cannon, load it on to a space ship and send it to Mars. You still haven’t come close to walking a high wire between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre!
Robert Zemeckis brings to life the story of Philippe Petit and his journey to become the only man to ever walk the gap between the Twin Towers, quarter of a mile up. The journey begins in France, revealing how Petit became interested in the high wire and his days as a street performer. The movie feels like a heist movie, Petit assembles his team of "accomplices" and develops his skills to pull off his "artistic coup", all to a jazz soundtrack similar to heist movies of old. Anyone who is aware of history knows Petit achieved his goal, but watching the movie, you can’t help wondering if he’ll succeed.
The film was made using as many practical effects as possible. If George Lucas had taken a leaf out of Zemeckis’ book when making the Star Wars prequels they would be very different movies. Joseph Gordon-Levitt trained with the real Petit and was able to walk on the wire alone after eight days. Obviously there is a requirement for CGI in a movie like this, the insanity of the stunts involved and that filming in the way they did would be impossible. Not to mention the fact that the towers were destroyed in one of the biggest terrorist attacks in world history. Something that isn’t dwelled on in this movie. The CGI used is very good and will have you on the edge of your seat during the main event. They also do a good job of recreating 1970’s France and New York.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is supported by a cast that includes Sir Ben Kingsley and James Badge Dale, all of whom provide excellent performances. You really feel the passion, obsession and insanity of the "coup". This movie is a tribute to Petit and all those who made his "coup" possible. But more than that, it’s a tribute to the Twin Towers that dared Petit to do something amazing.