REVIEW: ‘127 Hours’

Director:
Danny Boyle
Cast:
James Franco
Kate Mara
Amber Tamblyn
Rated: R

Jeez, the situation that Franco’s character was in during this movie made Tom Hanks look like he was at a five star hotel in “Cast Away.”

127 Hours follows the true story of Aaron Ralston (Franco), a biker and climber who loves getting into the outdoors and exploring different mountain ranges. The film starts with him leaving his house early and heading down to where he will spend his weekend. After arriving he heads out across Utah and eventually meets two women who are making their way through the area as well.

After hanging out with the two of them for a while, he continues out on his own across a dangerous opening in the earth. He thinks he has footing, but the rock he was standing on collapses and in a flash Ralston is stuck at the bottom of a small canyon far away from any help with his arm crushed. What follows is the story of his survival and his escape.

Danny Boyle did a really good job with this picture. With nearly 90 percent of the film being in one location, this could have very easily been a fairly boring experience. However, Boyle uses multiple angles and really brought out what was going on in Ralston’s head during his experience. The scene where Ralston makes his escape is also thrilling, thanks to the camera work and sound usage.

The other thing that makes the film work is Franco. Not only is this one of Franco’s first major drama roles, he has to shoulder the entire thing by himself, and I thought he pulled this off. Franco plays the role with intensity, determination and desperation, allowing the audience to get invested in his character. It’s easy to see from his expressions the difficulty of his situation.

The film is really suspenseful, many people including myself already knew the story and how he managed to get out. Despite this, though, the film continues to keep us interested and makes us feel the desperation that Ralston feels, despite knowing what’s going to happen.

Overall, 127 Hours is a fantastic film that really shows the power of the human spirit. The film does have slower moments but for the most part is pretty tight especially considering it all happened in one place. This is a solid 4 out of 5.

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Author: Matthew Liedke

My name is Matthew Liedke. I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, but I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I now write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead where I studied journalism and film. Outside of film, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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