I finally saw Gravity - in 3D too - and I was impressed. The movie is set in orbit around the Earth where a group of astronauts are updating the Hubble Telescope. Unfortunately for them, those irresponsible Russians decide to destroy one of their own satellites and its debris cause havoc. From there on we follow the astronauts as they tried to survive.
Gravity stars George Clooney and Sandra Bullock. Don’t let Bullock’s presence put you off as she gives one of her more subdued performances. She doesn’t do a Nicole Kidman, who managed to destroyed not one, but two science fiction movies (Invasion and The Stepford Wives).
Gravity is one of the most visually impressive science fiction movies ever made. Probably not since District 9 have I seen such a seamless incorporation of special effects into a movie. In that movie all the aliens looked real, unlike Avatar. In Gravity I never found myself thinking that doesn’t look like space.
Gravity’s writer/director, Alfonso Cuaron, gets it right by having no sound in space. Objects collide and explode silently. This movie is about as far away from Star Wars as Tony Abbott and science are. The only comparable movies that I can think of are 2001 and 2010. So I agree with James Cameron who said Gravity is probably the best space movie ever made.
To me, the science looked real and the story was very believable. Only a couple of years ago the Chinese used one of their own satellites for missile target practice. Buzz Aldrin said he was "extravagantly impressed by the portrayal of the reality of zero gravity", although he suggested that the film's view of Earth from space was a little too clear.
Although it is impressive to look at and has a lot of tension, Gravity lacked the vital ingredient of great science fiction films. Apart from answering the question, what if your shuttle was destroyed in space while you were on a spacewalk, Gravity did not explore any themes. I think Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men is a better science fiction movie with its exploration of a world where humanity is infertile. And because of its exploration of themes I still rate Oblivion as the best science fiction movie I have seen this year.
If you are into science fiction, you have to go and see Gravity. Enjoy a tense and visually impressive ride, but don’t expect to be challenged by themes and ideas. If you’re a science fiction writer, it might also have you questioning the mechanics of that scene you have just written where your character goes for a spacewalk.