I am being honest when I tell you I had zero interest in seeing this movie which is based on the story of mountain climber Aron Ralston. In 2003, Ralston was hiking in the Blue John Canyon in Utah when he fell into a crevice and a boulder trapped his arm against the mountain wall. He remained in the crevice for 4 days until, facing starvation and dehydration, he amputated his right arm and climbed out of the mountains with his left. Needless to say, there really didn’t sound like much here for me to enjoy and the idea of watching someone slowly die and then cut off their arm just didn’t sound like entertainment to me. However, left in the hands of director Danny Boyle (who directed “28 Days” and Oscar Award winner “Slumdog Millionaire”), I am happy to say I was totally wrong. This movie is VERY entertaining and James Franco (who plays Ralston) is fantastic!
Truthfully, there’s not a lot more than what I’ve already told you about the film. I mean, the guy falls into a crack in the earth and survives. But the way Boyle envisions the entire situation is what makes this movie so entertaining. The visuals are excellent as he uses split screens, editing and great music to move the story at a pace that keeps you interested. He uses hand-held cameras, jibs and all kinds of camera tricks to put you right there with Ralston as he hikes, bikes and runs through the mountains. The cinematography is fantastic and the connection that he makes with the landscape is what really keeps this movie on pace.
Franco plays Ralston as a freebird. He enjoys being alone and has grown up hiking. He loves mountaineering and has no qualms with disappearing for days at a time without telling anyone where he is going. This gets him into trouble as he finds himself trapped without no one around to hear him scream. Franco was up for an Oscar for this role and deservedly so. His boyish charms are what make you identify with him and he uses them to the hilt as he runs into a couple of women who are hiking early in the movie.
Needless to say, I was very impressed by this film. I don’t know why I didn’t expect much seeing as how it was up for so many awards last year. But this is a very good movie and Boyle once again succeeds on every level. As far as I am concerned, the man can do no wrong and is one of the premier directors of today. I highly recommend “127 Hours” and for those who are squeamish like myself, you should know that the amputation scene is not very long and, although a little gross, nowhere near as bad as I thought it was going to be.
Overall Rating: A
10 Second Review: James Franco is Aron Ralston, a man who loves hiking and bike riding. One day he falls into a crevice and a rock falls on his arm. This is his story as he is trapped for 127 hours. Between Franco, director Danny Boyle’s vision and the sweeping cinematography, this film is a must see for film lovers!