Movie Review: 127 Hours (2010)

Synopsis: Amateur mountaineer Aron Ralston goes hiking at Utah's Canyonlands National Park alone in 2003. After spending part of the day with a pair of hikers he meets, he begins climbing down a slot canyon by himself but becomes trapped when a boulder breaks loose, causing him to fall and trapping his arm against a wall. With nobody knowing where he is and a limited amount of food and water, Ralston spends the next few days trying to figure out how to free himself.

The movie is based on a real story.

Who's in it? The movie stars James FrancoAmber TamblynKate MaraTreat Williams and Sean Bott.

Review: I let my wife pick out last night's movie and, after scrolling through several choices, she settled on this one. It was an intriguing story based on a real person's struggle, however, while we didn't hate the film, it also didn't make our list of favorites.

As I said, the story was an interesting one. The film does a good job introducing Ralston and at least giving a basic idea of the type person he is, making it easier to care about his wellbeing when he falls into the canyon and gets trapped. I also liked how the film, through flashbacks, pointed out the various mistakes he made leading into his predicament. This included the opportunities he had to tell people where he was going and smaller details, like leaving his bottle of Gatorade in his car.

I also liked how the movie made him seem more human by his various emotional reactions to his situation. One moment he was on-task and determined to get free. The next he was screaming hopelessly for help. It helped make the crisis seem a lot more real, which tends not to happen in a lot of films.

I think our biggest problem with the movie was it did tend to drag on at times because of the various flashbacks. Some of them seemed important to the story. Others were clearly there to get the movie to a 94-minute runtime. In other words, it felt like the filmmakers wanted to tell Ralston's story but discovered there just wasn't enough to make it a feature-length film on its own.

On that note, rather than all the flashbacks, it might have been better to see a bit more of the aftermath of his accident, such as his rehab and how he met his wife. I feel like that would have added a bit more substance, especially with how the movie ends.

Final Opinion: It's a decent film based on an intriguing real-life incident. Again, there were things that prevented it from being one of our favorites, but I'd still recommend watching it.

My Grade: B-


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