Up up and awaaaaay…or a crash landing?
Get ready to soar to new heights with Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, previously seen together in the fantastic Theory Of Everything.
It’s 1862 and Eddie plays scientist James Glaisher, convinced he can experiment on the weather by flying a hot air balloon higher than anyone has gone before and study the changes in the air. He manages to talk balloon-accident widower Amelia Wren (Jones) into being his pilot and getting him up to the furthest reaches man has been. The two characters are opposites of each other, with Wren being flamboyant and extravagant, a juxtaposition with Glaisher’s methodical scientific ways.
The two explorers head up into the skies where they begin to realise that its not going to be an easy journey, swiftly flying straight through a storm which threatens to bring a swift end to the expedition.
But the perils do not let up there…and this is where my problem comes with the film as a whole…too much happens to them for this to be truly based on real life events. The whole film plays out more or less in real time once they are up in the air but the things they come up against are just too fanciful and cinematic.
Lets not take the plaudits away from Redmayne and Jones who are brilliant, but in a script and a film which feels as restricted as the small basket they are in throughout, they don’t have much to work with.
Despite the big set pieces, its also pretty boring in the bits in between. It looks beautiful, with some stunning visuals when they are up above the clouds, but even that cannot save the dreary story.
In summary, it’s beautiful, but overly fanciful and boring in equal measures, with nothing to make me actually care about the characters enough to be bothered what was going on.