Gravity

Gravity ★★★★½

It's not very often you can walk out of the cinema having just experienced something completely new. I can vividly remember being amazed by the sheer scale of The Lord of the Rings, and have a very vague memory of being blown away by the groundbreaking animation of Toy Story. Gravity is the first time in over a decade that I feel a film has done something entirely new, and given me a completely unique experience.

I recall the way that Avatar was supposed to kick-start the 3D revolution, but instead only gave birth to many crappy half-baked post-production 3D blockbusters. Gravity shows what the technology is truly capable of when a huge amount of time and copious amounts of talent are involved. I'm as big a 3D skeptic as you'll find, often going out of my way to find 2D showings - but Gravity in 3D on as big a screen as you can find is the right way to see it.

Even with all the hype I wasn't expecting to be quite as amazed by the visuals as I was. There are times where you seriously just feel as if you're floating around with the characters. Like most great physical experiences, it's very hard to put into words and can only really be felt, rather than explained. I'll be interested to see how this film holds up on DVD on standard sized televisions as so much of the wow factor does come from the cinematic experience.

That's not to say that the film has nothing to offer apart from its visuals. While the plot is fairly thin its about as complex as a 90-minute space thriller needs to be, and Sandra Bullock's lead performance is one of the best of her career. For me, it's when the dialogue takes centre stage that Gravity's flaws show. The script is perfectly passable, but when you get Sandra Bullock making dog noises or having to explain all of her actions out aloud you can tell that it's not quite up to scratch with the rest of the film. But these are extremely fleeting moments.

Gravity mixes dazzling visuals and heart-thumping action to create what is at times a truly breathless experience, all the while managing to splice this with quiet, reflective moments of beauty. It's not perfect, but it is one hell of an experience and a real game changer in terms of technical achievement. Hats off to Alfonso Cuaron, this is undoubtedly one of the best films of the year.