Sunday, June 7

Dullard DVD review: "Man On Wire"

"Man On Wire" is like "Ocean's 11." Only instead of trying to break into a subterranean vault in Las Vegas to make the big score, the team in "Man On Wire" is trying to get to the top of the World Trade Center to stun the world.

That stunner is the simple yet insane act of a man walking on a cable between the two towers, more than 100 stories above the streets of lower Manhattan. Getting there was the hard part, and that's the heart of much of this documentary.

The origins, planning and training of the WTC mission unfold in "Man On Wire" in three ways: through archival footage, contemporary interviews with the man and his accomplices, and re-enactments. Part of the challenges are physical, others personal.

It all meshes together in a suspenseful way, even though we know that the wirewalker, Philippe Petit, eventually realizes his goal of sneaking into the towers, setting up his cable and walking that line to the amusement and fascination of New Yorkers and the world.

The fate of the towers themselves is never addressed in "Man On Wire." This movie is not about that day in 2001. It's about a day in August 1974, and an event that will never happen again.


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