IMAX Presents – Niagara: Miracles, Myths & Magic

Get ready to brave the raging waters as the IMAX camera takes you on a heart-pounding ride over Niagara Falls and into its swirling depths. Travel back in time to learn its 12,000 year history, beginning when native inhabitants first worshiped the thunderous power of the Falls. Experience the death-defying stunts performed by daredevils who challenged the Falls – The Great Blondin, who attempts a perilous tightrope walk above the deadly waters and Annie Taylor, a 63 year old school-teacher who went over he Falls in a barrel and lived to tell the tale. Feel all the power and all the passion of Niagara Falls in this spectacular adventure!Instead of a history of the spectacular Niagara Falls, this IMAX presentation, whose format is, oddly enough, pan-and-scan instead of widescreen, resorts to re-enactments of Niagara’s mythology. Though the film incorporates some breathtaking cinematography that emphasizes the splendor and awesome scope of the falls, director Kieth Merrill, who has helmed several other films in the IMAX library (Wolves), focuses on the legends that prevail rather than the wonder of the place itself. We see cheesy reinterpretations of the people of Niagara, “the thunder beings who lived under the great falls,” as they send a maiden, “the chosen one,” over the edge in a canoe. Equally odd is a scene of Annie Taylor and her pet cat, who tackled the falls in a barrel at the turn of the century. Consequently, this is one of the lesser IMAX features. This truly extraordinary wonder deserves a better platform, yet even in this imperfect examination, its beauty and power can’t be repressed and ultimately it’s what we remember most after the film ends. –Paula Nechak

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