The plot almost immediately moves into action movie mode, as though fearful we will get bored of pretty space pix or character development (beyond Matt = brave+experienced x Ryan = novice+nervous) and soon our heroes are dodging hurtling debris and spinning through space untethered. Their shuttle is destroyed and they must make their way across the heavens to another space station in the hope of finding a ride home.
It is at this point we realise the filmakers, so intent on creating a visual spectacular, have had an imagination failure when it comes to the details of the plot and characters. As Matt escorts Ryan across the cosmos, doing his casual shtick, he asks if there is "anyone special" back home. Now I'm no expert, but I'm guessing astronauts spend a hell of a lot of time in close quarters and probably get the basics out of the way quite early --married, kids, hobbies? It is hard to believe that only a life or death space walk has prompted Matt to suddenly ask whether Ryan has a partner. Because the only point of the question is to reveal Ryan's Big Secret and Key to her Personality --her daughter died when she was four.
Personally, I couldn't see the point of this, other than the hope it gave Ryan depth (it didn't) or somehow made her more sympathetic (nope) or her fight for life more poignant (again, no).
Gravity is an inherently conservative, conventional Hollywood film dressed up as cutting edge. Personally, I feel insulted by that. It's like being promised Beef Wellington, then being given a sausage roll instead. The effects may be spectacular, but character and story-wise it feels like we've gone back in time. Ryan is no Ripley: she is a rather dull heroine who never seems to move beyond an emotional monotone: fear and lack of confidence. She is a vehicle for the plot, a body in a spacesuit. Personally, I didn't really care whether she made it or not.
To add insult to injury, after the dvd was over, we flicked on the tv to catch 20 minutes of Minority Report. In that time, a series of men led by Tom Cruise did serious things and had serious conversations about the serious plot of the film. Three women appeared in the film during that time: one to serve tea to her husband, another to provide a laptop to her boss, and the third to have sex with someone.