The canyoneering community was abuzz recently after the trailer release for “127 Hours”, Danny Boyle’s dramatization of Aron Ralston’s battle with a sizable boulder in Bluejohn Canyon. The sneak-peek doesn’t show us all that much, but confirms the typical elements of adventure movie fare will be present:
1. Breathtaking cinematography of some of America’s most acclaimed landscapes. I am looking forward to all sorts of canyonland eye candy.
2. Some realistic canyoneering depictions. James Franco (or likely his stunt double) shows some nice stemming moves, and they did go into actual canyons for the footage.
3. Some unrealistic canyoneering depictions. The scene where Franco drops out of sight and into the gorgeous pool of crystal-blue water… uh, unless there are hallucinatory drugs involved, that’s not going to happen in Utah. I bet they all emerge with any scrapes, too.
4. Actors will be better looking than anybody I’ve ever seen in the backcountry. And actresses will be thrown in for audience interest.
But the big question is: Will it be a good story? This remains to be seen. A litany of Hollywood adventure films suggest making an engaging, realistic storyline is next to impossible, BUT few of them (maybe none of them) were made by an Oscar-winning director. I’m interested to see what Danny Boyle can do here… with the money and talent at his fingertips, he won’t have much of an excuse if he doesn’t come through.