Gravity (2013)

Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Stars: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris

Writers:  Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón,
Running Time: 91 mins

A medical engineer and an astronaut work together to survive after a catastrophe destroys their shuttle and leaves them adrift in orbit.  That’s the official squib of this special effects tour-de-force but less than mesmerizing tale.

Sandra Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone, a biologist on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney).  It’s his last flight before retiring.  For some inexplicable reason Dr. Stone is outside the International space station, making repairs on the Hubble Space Telescope while Kowalsky floats effortlessly on a tether regaling her with stories of his life and observations of the beauty of planet Earth, the clouds, the moon and whatever else pops into his head.  What a drag.

Then disaster strikes from gigantic space debris caused by a Russian missile strike on a defunct satellite. Their shuttle is destroyed and Stone and Kowalsky have nothing to hold onto but each other as they spiraling into the blackness of space. Until … Dr. Ryan reaches deep inside herself and painfully yanks herself back into the International Space Station where she’s forced to use her wits to survive.  Kowalsky meanwhile doesn’t.

Lotta says Gravity deserves every accolade it’s gotten with respect to special effects and technical refinements to work with the actors to get them afloat in confined spaces.  But it just didn’t grip me as far as story and character and for the life of me I can’t figure out why the trailers would choose to show how Dr. Ryan survives at the end, even though no one would really expect it’s star to die a horrible space induced death.