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Erik Davis’s “Gravity” Review Really, Really Works (Somehow)

In response to Erik Davis’s 819‑word review of Gravity on

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Erik Davis’s “‘Gravity’ Is Unlike Anything You’ve Experienced in a Movie Theater This Year” is excessive in every way, shape, and form. It’s the review equivalent of a friend telling you their dream last night: very personal, very emotional, very long, and very circuitous.

For some reason, it really works.

Unlike Anything really is unlike anything readers are likely to experience this year. It’s a subversion of form, first and foremost, and it’s an experiment that won’t match the expectations of its audience. What it will likely do instead is exceed the expectations of the audience because it offers something so wildly different than they’re used to.

There’s very little here that can be called a “review” in the traditional sense. Rather, audiences are treated to a veritable explosion of emotion, stream-of-consciousness, long asides that have virtually nothing to do with the subject at hand but relate tangentially.  

The experiment is far more self-expression than reviews are wont to be; as such, it’s impossible to untangle Davis from the details. Saying his fingerprints show is a dramatic understatement; it may as well be his guts, his brains, that readers are treated to. “These are tremendous feelings,” he declares, a sentiment that’s right on the money.

As such, it’s difficult to grade Unlike Anything in terms of the artistic category’s formal elements. Davis makes a compelling argument in an incredibly different but very exciting way.  

Unlike Anything, delightful in its weirdness, isn’t worth reading so much as it’s worth experiencing.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation