REVIEW: 127 Hours

Ash Hover was very wrong when he thought he was hardy enough for 127 Hours

I drove to the Odeon in High Brooms with two friends and it’s fair to say I was looking forward to my evening watching Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours. However, after scoffing down a cheeky McDonalds, we parked up opposite an ambulance, which we were informed of inside was there because someone had fainted while watching…wait for it, 127 Hours.

Despite this, I was confident that the film couldn’t throw me. I mean, I love all the Saw films and it can’t be worse than that, right?


127 Hours is based on adrenalin junkie daredevil Aron Ralston, who set out to negotiate tricky canyons and crevices in the Utah desert in 2003. Whilst negotiating a small, or what seemed like, a small crevice, a boulder came away from under him, causing him to fall with the large rock crushing his right arm. Aron Ralston was quite literally stuck between a rock, and a hard place. However, the story is no joking matter as throughout the film, James Franco gives a determined performance of playing what is essentially a static super hero. Other than a couple of hitchhikers who befriend Aron, Franco has the only real role in the film, making the story even more intense and personal. Hats off to Danny Boyle for creating a box office hit with this storyline: when Franco falls and becomes trapped after 30 minutes, you can’t help but wonder how long it will be until he starts the procedure which everyone came to see – cutting off his own arm with a blunt pen-knife. However, Boyle’s clever film making takes the audience inside Ralston’s mind and really makes us empathise with his isolation.

After about 75 minutes, the climax finally begins when he attempts the gruesome procedure. The audience have waited for this moment, and now we can’t even watch. The two minute ‘operation’ which lasted for over 40 minutes in real life, is physically hard to watch and any noises from shuffling hands in popcorn boxes ceased during this time and instead we began to take notice of One Republic’s 2008 track, Stop and Stare.

If you want to see a mainstream, action or similarly modern or normal film, then I suggest you opt for something else. However, if you want to see a story about a real man, who did what none of us would have nightmares about doing, go and see this film. Danny Boyle’s film making genius captivates each and every member of the audience and although you’ll come out of the cinema grimacing, you will have experienced something completely different and innovative.

127 Hours is showing at all major cinemas.


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