It's been, for me, a rather long seven years since Alfonos Cuarón's Children Of Men, which caught me completely by surprise and has become one of my favourite cinematic experiences of all time. So, perhaps my expectations were ludicrously high when it came to his next film.

Following on from the speculation and rumour-mill surrounding the production and innovation of his next project - Gravity - I was undoubtedly giddy with excitement, and that first jaw-dropping teaser trailer wet my appetite further. So much so, that I decided to stop watching any more trailers for it (going so far as to avert my eyes in the cinema if the trailer came on), not to read any stories about the production or any reviews of the film. As far as I could I wanted to be surprised.

The film's teaser trailer gives you the first fifteen minutes of the film; astronauts Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), Lt. Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) and Shariff Dasari (Phaldut Sharma) are working on attaching some monitoring equipment to the Hubble Space Telescope, when an errant missile destroys a Russian satellite sending a cloud of debris hurtling dangerously around the Earth. Communications with NASA are lost, the debris impacts, their shuttle is destroyed, and Stone comes loose, spinning out into space.

Whilst the trailer ended with the frightening image of Stone drifting helplessly into the great void of space, whimpering with her voice sounding ever more futile for assistance, the film does not simply abandon her to the cosmos. Instead, the film is a series of miniature rescue missions and efforts to space walk to other stations in an effort to return to Earth.

Occasionally these challenges are interspersed with scraps of backstory, whether it's through Kowalski's bawdy tales that he relays back to command, or Stone's tragic history. Unfortunately though there's something almost hackneyed about these characters and their exposition that it keeps you at an arm's length emotionally, Clooney flies around with his trademark smirk on his face like a live-action Buzz Lightyear, and his bravado is ham-fisted, clunky and - for a top astronaut - somewhat unprofessional and sexist.

Meanwhile Bullock is largely lumbered with heavy breathing, crying, panicking and either saying how she can't go on or narrating what she's doing using a series of stereotypical affirmations. There are moments, such as her humming whilst trying to uncouple a delpoyed parachute in the midst of a debris storm, that are relatably human, but other times where she drifts into leaden, B-Movie dialogue that would cause a person - even in the midst of a crisis - to roll their own eyes at themselves.

Technically the film is a marvel, whether it's how Cuaron and director of photography Emmanuel Lubezki have unshackled their camera from the constraints of gravity to create bewildering, entrancing, free-floating and unbroken shots that mix live-action and animation in an incredible fashion, or just in the wonder of our planet hanging as a constant and beautiful backdrop to the somewhat video-game-like action playing out in the foreground.

Elsewhere Cuaron can't resist throwing in some of the most heavy-handed allegorical imagery around, bewildering considering the masterful sleight-of-hand with which he deployed ideas and information in Children Of Men, and ultimately the film's entire journey and it's meaning are so redundantly obvious as to make watching the film feel more like re-reading a checklist that you've already ticked off.

Perhaps my expectations were too high, though the highness of my expectations also meant I went in feeling like I was definitely going to come out disappointed, so conversely my expectations were also very low. However the film is frustratingly one-note and obvious, even as an adrenaline rush the set-pieces become repetitive, and the film's ideas are pretty paper-thin and patronising.