127 Hours

2010 dumb guy movie

Rating: 16/20

Plot: Cocky thrill-seeker Aron Ralston goes on a little hiking adventure through some familiar canyons in Utah and finds himself trapped and completely alone after a freak accident that wedges his arm between a large boulder and a canyon wall. He spends a harrowing few days trying to figure a way out of the predicament and survive.

This could almost be a cell phone service provider commercial. After a few hours, Ralston could reach in his backpack and grab a phone only to find out that he doesn't get service way out in the middle of nowhere. Then, the guy with glasses could peek out from the top of the canyon and say, "What? No bars? Sucks to be you!" and then take off laughing hysterically.

Franco's performance is really good here, and I don't usually buy his characters in movies. I like him, but not so much as an actor. Here, he plays the lone-character-trapped-somewhere really well, and his initial panic and the ensuing mental breakdown is believable. This was certainly a pretty movie to look at, the camera taking in all these beautiful canyons, probably my favorite sort of movie landscape. The early parts of the movie with Franco running all over the place almost reminded me of a more hyperkinetic Gerry, that Casey Affleck movie where he and Matt Damon wander aimlessly and call each other Gerry. You ever see that one? I don't think anybody going into this will be surprised by the outcome. It seems like everything I read about this movie spoiled it within the first paragraph. It doesn't make the scene where 90% of him escapes his fate any less dramatic though. Franco's got an odd physicality with this role. He's stuck in one position, but he does a great job of somehow conveying a lot with body language and facial expressions anyway. I'm not sure I always like what director Danny Boyle's doing in this. It's that sort of modern direction that seems influenced by music videos and a lot of what Boyle does in this and his other movies just seems very plastic, but I do like the little camera and editing tricks that allows the audience to experience the mental anguish and breakdown that the character goes through. That includes one of my favorite movie moments of the year which involves Scooby Doo. All in all, this is a gripping hour and a half that, in the wrong hands, could have easily seemed like 127 hours. Better than I expected for sure.

1 comment:

cory said...

I agree with everything you wrote. Franco was surprisingly effective and believable, but Boyle was the wrong director for this material. His unnecessary stylings were distracting and irritating, and weren't appropriate for the material. Nevertheless, the film is harrowing, involving, and ultimately, very touching. Also a 16.