As misfortune stacks upon tragedy in Alfonso Cuaron's deep space survival thriller, the film's stricken heroine greets her seemingly inevitable demise with a moment of deadpan humour.: “I hate space,’ she sighs.
We hate it too by the onclusion of Gravity, which puts its lead character through the physical and emotional wringer as she drifts through that inky void,
Commander Matt Kowalski (George Clooney), a veteran of the space program on his final mission, provides encouragement to fellow astronaut Shariff (Phaldut Sharma) and specialist Dr Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), who is in space for the first time.
“Houston, I have a bad feeling about this mission,” jokes Kowalski as he yammers with Mission Control (voiced by Ed Harris).
Out of the blue, Mission Control orders Kowalski to abort the mission and return to Explorer: a Russian missile strike on a defunct satellite has created a debris cloud that is heading straight towards the crew.
As Steven Price’s orchestral score reaches a deafening crescendo, razor-sharp debris rips apart Explorer, killing Shariff and hurtling Stone through space.
If Kowalski cannot locate Stone before her dwindling oxygen supply runs out then the void will consume her.
The running time is perfect — any longer and we would be biting nails down to the bone let alone the cuticle.