The Walk, a new film featuring actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt as famed tightrope walker Philippe Petit, has done more than leave moviegoers hanging off the edge of their seats. It’s literally making audience members vomit.
As reported by GQ Magazine, the intense tightrope camera sequences of The Walk are causing audience members to toss their cookies… or, in this case, their popcorn. Several people catching early screenings of The Walk, have reported experiencing dizziness, vertigo, and extreme anxiety as Gordon-Levitt reenacts the famed 1974 tightrope journey performed by Petit across the Twin Towers in New York. The twenty-minute pivotal vomit-inducing scene is of the the walk itself. Set 1,362 feet in the air, those who attended press screenings warn that those with a fear of heights may find the 3D version of the film to be a little too realistic.
While director Robert Zemeckis is said to have wanted to make the audiences feel the depth of Petit’s emotions as he journeyed across the tightrope, it’s highly unlikely Zemeckis wanted to make the audience sick and send moviegoers vomiting. Zemeckis is known for movies such as Forrest Gump, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and the Back to the Future trilogy… the type of movies that make audiences feel good, not make audiences vomit.
In fact, Zemeckis recently likened the process of filming The Walk to an intricate dance in which he attempted to convey a sense of realism to preserve Petit’s experience during a recent interview with Forbes:
“I approached this as a ballet, as if I were choreographing a dance number. It was important that the camera becomes a partner with Petit.”
Judging by old pictures of Petit on the tightrope and the audience reaction of vomiting, it seems that Zemeckis may have achieved his goal.
While The Walk may be making some audience members sick, it’s garnering some positive reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes currently gives it an 88% rating, with many critics commenting on it being “thrilling” and touting the film’s ability to remind everyone of the mightiness and awe of the massive Twin Towers prior to their crumbling in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Though some may be hesitant to see The Walk because of the early reports of nausea, but that caveat didn’t seem to keep moviegoers away from other films that caused their audiences to vomit. The Blair Witch Project became an instant cult classic partly because its shaky camera work had movie audiences hurling. The car chase scenes in the Bourne Identity and Bourne Supremacy were known to make moviegoers a little queasy, and the franchise flourished. And let’s not forget the most recent blockbuster that came under scrutiny for making audiences vomit — The Hunger Games.
While Hunger Games director Gary Ross came under fire for his shaky camera scenes to mute the violence of the cornucopia, many who watched the film in 3D or I-Max complained of feeling sick to their stomachs rather than irritated by his style choice.
Still, The Walk faces some stiff competition its opening week. The surprise hit Hotel Transylvania 2 is looking to score another box office win, but the even more challenging opponent will be Matt Damon’s The Martian, which opens October 2. When faced with the choices, families, couples, and single people alike may opt for one of the movies that isn’t making audiences vomit.
Is your stomach strong enough to see The Walk in theaters this weekend, or will the possibility that it may make you vomit send you to see something else? Tell us what you think!
[Image courtesy of The Walk Official Facebook Page.]