TOPIC: The Walk Movie vs Man on Wire Documentary: A Review

The Walk Movie vs Man on Wire Documentary: A Review 4 years 3 months ago #399779

  • RealMsH
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Hello Everybody!

Here is my review of The Walk movie vs. Man on Wire documentary.


If you are still on the fence about seeing The Walk movie, my review may help you to decide. In addition to reviewing the movie, The Walk, I will also compare the movie to the documentary, Man on Wire. The main character featured in both The Walk movie, as well as in the Man on Wire documentary is the professional tight rope walker, frenchman Philippe Petit. Both the movie and the documentary are based on a true story.

Character Likeness

In some movies, the actor may look like or is made up to look like the character being portrayed. Even though Joseph Gordon-Levitt who plays Philippe Petit in The Walk movie does not have a strong resemblance to the tight rope walker, I think this fact did not take away from the movie. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, in my opinion, did an excellent job of imitating not only the movements of Philippe Petit while walking on the tight rope, but his voice accent and mannerisms were on par as well.

The documentary Man on Wire would periodically show an actor who resembled Philippe Petit as he narrated actions shown on the screen. I think the resemblance or non-resemblance to Philippe Petit of the actors playing him in the documentary as well as in the movie had no impact. In my opinion, instead of character likeness it was important to show the brave and determined actions of Philippe Petit which culminated in him fulfilling his dream as a tight rope walker.

The Walk Movie vs Man on Wire Documentary Accuracy

I think The Walk movie accurately captured the events that led up to Philippe Petit realizing his dream as a tight rope walker. Both the movie and the documentary illustrated how Phillipe Petit found out at a young age that his passion was walking on a tight rope and how he went on to make a name for himself.

The Walk movie, in my opinion, spent more time on the person who helped train Phillipe Petit on tight rope walking, while the documentary barely touched on his training. I think it was a smart move for the movie, The Walk, to let the audience know the extensive training Philippe Petit received including his various mishaps along the way. In addition to being encouraging, Philippe Petit's trainer in the movie The Walk, stressed to him the importance of acknowledging his audience. The words of advice from Philippe Petit's trainer that stuck with me were "There is no show without an audience."

A discrepancy between the movie and the documentary that I noticed was there was a tight rope event shown in the documentary, Man on Wire that was not in the movie. Specifically, the documentary covered Philippe Petit's tight rope walk in Austraiia, which I do not recall seeing in the movie. Even with this omission, I do not think this was a red mark against the movie, The Walk. I believe the movie did an adequate job of letting the audience know that Philippe Petit accomplished other challenging tight rope walking feats before performing the tight rope walk of his dreams.

Also during the movie, there is a scene where Philippe Petit is seen by someone who wanders on top of the building, looks at him, does not speak a word -- and simply leaves. I do not recall this situation being discussed during the documentary -- so this scene may have been added for dramatic effect.

Break-up on The Walk Movie vs Man on Wire Documentary

Philippe Petit's romantic interest (Annie Allix) in the movie in my opinion, quickly ended their relationship after he accomplished what he set out to do. The reason was she wanted to pursue her own dreams. However, the documentary infers another reason for the break-up was Philippe Petit carousing with another woman. Regardless of the reason for the break-up, both the movie, The Walk and the documentary, Man on Wire showed the relationship ended between the two. A plus for the documentary was Annie Allix appeared on the show and recounted her experiences during that time in the early 1970's including her support for Philippe Petit.

Positives and Negatives of The Walk Movie

In my opinion, the major positive of The Walk movie was the manner in which Philippe Petit's story was told. Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Phillippe Petit, narrated throughout the movie, which was also interspersed with flash-backs as well as dialogue and suspenseful actions.

Another positive is the 3D aspect of the movie. If you see the movie in 3D, you may get the feeling that you are actually walking right alongside or with Philippe Petit as he does his daring tight rope walks. As I watched the movie, I jumped in my seat a few times, when something unexpectedly dropped or other unanticipated actions occurred. I had heard about people getting sick or experiencing feelings of vertigo including dizziness when watching the movie -- however this did not happen to me.

If you are susceptible to feelings of dizziness, etc. when watching these type movies, then I recommend you do not see the movie in 3D. There are lots of other actions you can see in the movie in addition to the tight rope walking that are not only suspenseful but entertaining as well.

A potential negative was the dangerous actions Philippe Petit did on the tight rope, which I thought was being over-dramatized; however, after watching the documentary, I found out he actually did what was depicted in the movie.

An actual negative, in my opinion, was trying to understand why someone who is afraid of heights would volunteer to be part of the coup to help Philippe Petit accomplish his tight rope walking feat. I think this character was added to the movie for dramatic effect, since logically speaking, I could not imagine someone doing this, especially given the substantial height of these buildings.

Even though this was an enjoyable movie to watch, at the end of the day, what Philippe Petit and his group did was not only unsafe, but illegal to boot. Hopefully the message from The Walk movie is to never give up on your dreams and not to do something illegal to achieve them.

Positives and Negatives of the Man on Wire Documentary

A major positive of the Man on Wire documentary was the story was told by Philippe Petit,himself -- instead of by a second or third party. As Philippe Petit narrated what happened, I got the feeling he was reliving the excitement and suspense he experienced accomplishing the tight rope walk of his dreams. Another positive was seeing Philippe Petit in the documentary continuing to perform tight rope walking in current day.

A negative, as discussed above for the documentary was not concentrating more on the training Philippe Petit received before he accomplished what he set out to do.


I found The Walk movie as well as the Man on Wire documentary to be entertaining and the actions kept my interest. If I had to choose between the two, I would prefer to see The Walk movie since a story is being told with a beginning, middle and an end -- unlike the documentary, which seemed a little disjointed to me with action clips interspersed with interviews and narratives.


Based on a rating of one to five stars, with five stars being the highest, I would give The Walk, the movie 4 stars and the Man on Wire documentary 3 1/2 stars.

Last Edit: 4 years 3 months ago by RealMsH.
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