Man on Wire: Underground Movie Review

"Man on Wire" has won many accolades since it first release more than a year ago. It was considered to be the best documentary of 2008 by many film critics. With that, it has aroused our minds on what the commotion is all about - how can a simple documentary about an amazing tight rope act be that good? Read on to find out what our take on (what is touted to be) one of the best documentaries ever made - do we agree or not?

"Man on Wire" centers around the peculiar character of Philippe Petit and his 1974 high wire walk between the two World Trade Center twin towers. The film chronicles on why Philippe Petit even thought of the crazy idea in the first place while the other parts show how hard it was to plan out and execute the actual walk itself. The film is simply composed of present-day interviews, still photographs, rare vintage footages and some recreated scenes.

Moving on, "Man on Wire" for us was a disappointment. We expected something that would wow us and it did not. No, there is nothing really wrong with it. In fact, we felt that it was a great documentary/biography. It was accurate and credible and it clearly presented the how and the why old of the 1974 act. The visual style used was also stunning to say the least. But, the biggest flaw of the film for us was probably the subject matter itself. It just didn't feel complete and didn't evoke a sense of depth. At the end of the day, the documentary will leave you wanting and knowing more on Philippe Petit's life. Also, a minor quirk, is that the film could have been shown as a documentary on television (say the Discovery Channel) on no one would even be the wiser. For us, that is just a big boo-boo. "Man on Wire" is a noteworthy documentary - we just could not see what the hype was all about.

Rating: 4 reels

Why you should watch it:
- the documentary feels credible and accurate to the bone
- explains and presents clearly the subject matter - Philippe Petit's crazy mind and the WTC heist and high wire walk
- the visual style used was stunning yet very subtle

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the film doesn't give a sense of depth - the subject matter was too simple
- this could have been released on television as a documentary and it would not be out of place

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