Spoilers ahoy >>
Legend (for my personal use):Sandra Bullock - the girl (Ryan, sez imdb)
George Clooney - the bro (Kowalski, this name I do remember)
the indian guy
the Russian guy whose suit #42 was used (I would appreciate it if somebody remembers the name)
The film started as pure space technology porn and good scientifically accurate animation.
Clooney fooling around, the indian guy being merry, Sandra panicking. Shit as usual. Cruise control. Then, of course, something happens. You can already feel the morale of the story: space trash is bad. Sandra continues panicking, Clooney saves her, the indian guy is dead, along with everybody else. Sandra is moping about having no friends and her kid being six feet under. Her oxygen is one minute away from over for 10+ minutes. Shit as usual. Cruise control.
One can already write the rest of the story: Clooney saves Sandra a few more times, shit happens, romantic shit happens, they kiss, Sandra saves him a few times, Sandra drops the brick of her unique snowflake research, saving them one final time, they land and live happily ever after, making babies 24/7.
Two minutes later: Clooney's character dies.
Well shit, this movie is actually good.
As they say, the rest is history: Yura goes crazy, does whatever she can and returns to Earth as successfully as possible, and even strikes a pose of actually standing up and starting walking for the end of the film.
No, I am not even kidding. Sandra's character does remind me a lot of Yura.
Let's see... do we have at the start the kind of broken girl that still does what she is expected to by society? Check, she's there. Are circumstances kind of evil to her? Check, they are. Does this strip her gradually of her pretenses? Check. Sandra goes kind of further though, she tries to kill herself. Oxygen deprivation does cause hallucinations, though, so here comes the next fun part. Shit, this scene with Clooney returning was fucking great. While Yura has Choujirou, part god, part gun, Sandra has Kowalski, part bro, part ghost. Because what's better than imagining your dead colleague giving you advices? No, I don't actually have an answer to this, it was a rhetorical question. Continuing... Yura builds a new self around being a soldier. Sandra builds a new self incorporating some of the features of Kowalski. God, these changes in her behavior... this was the truly best part of the film. Bullock's play was honestly, genuinely, utterly great.
And in the end, after surviving every shit the Universe throws at her (while spinning at high speed), after swimming out of the lake, she even stands up and walks away.
That was kind of bullshitty, I admit, but it was still a fitting end. I can allow them this one bullshit.
To recap: the only character that actually mattered in this movie, Sandra, a.k.a. Yura, is the sole survivor of an American mission to Hubble, who then proceeds to reach to and use a Russian space suit (taken from the International Space Station) plus a Chinese escape pod (taken from the Chinese one) to return almost safely to Earth. All during this we constantly get Earth-from-space porn, technology porn, and everything spinning the physically right way towards your face. 10/10, will watch again.
Uh... by the way since when Hollywood films don't present American technology as the only usable thing? The same was with Pacific Rim...
P.S. The Chekhov's gun that was Sandra's research did not even fire. Shit, not even her work mattered, it was a pure question of character.