Dazzling, dizzying biopic The Walk puts us in the shoes of Philippe Petit, the 24-year-old Frenchman who pulled off that insanely daring high-wire walk between the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center in 1974, the subject of James Marsh’s Oscar-winning 2007 documentary Man on Wire.
As played by a puckishly playful Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Petit is able to pull off his audacious feat – having previously learned the ropes of wire walking from Ben Kingsley’s cranky circus veteran – thanks to an engaging mix of steely preparation, brass-necked cheek and plucky improvisation, plus the help of a misfit band of helpers, including girlfriend Annie Allix (Charlotte Le Bon).
The build-up to Petit’s fearless, life-affirming coup is full of tension and suspense, and when it comes to the walk itself, director Robert Zemickis’s breathtaking recreation is so vividly real that even those with a cool head for heights will break out in cold sweats.
Certificate PG. Runtime 123 mins. Director Robert Zemeckis
The Walk is available on Digital HD from 25 January and on Two-Disc Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray & DVD from 1 February from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.