At The Movies: Everest

There are not a lot of things that I can say with 100 percent certainty, but I can say this with 100 percent certainty:

I will never climb Mount Everest.

Nope. It’s not on the list. Not even anywhere near the list. If I can climb out of bed in the morning, that’s accomplishment enough for me.

And yet, for many people climbing to the top of the Earth’s highest mountain is some kind of goal in life. Adventurous people. Daring people. Courageous people.

Or as I refer to them — stupid people.

Based on real events, “Everest” tells the tale of one group of people who made that daring and dangerous trek back in 1996. Many went up the mountain, not everyone came back down.

Everest_posterThe story centers on Rob Hall (Jason Clarke), an expedition group leader whose faithful, and pregnant, wife Jan (Keira Knightley) waits for him back home in New Zealand.

Chief among the tourists in Hall’s group are wealthy Texan Beck Weathers (Josh Brolin), Doug Hansen (John Hawkes), who failed to make it to the peak on his last trip and is determined not to let that happen again, and Yasuko Namba (Naoko Mori), who had climbed six of the seven summits and was saving the best for last.

Also tackling the hill is Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal), who works for a rival expedition company. Due to the crowded conditions, Fischer agrees to work with Hall in the hopes both groups will make it up and back safely.

Directed by Baltasar Kormakur, “Everest” is a compelling, moving and ultimately tragic story. As you might expect, the cinematography is breathtaking, especially in the 3D Imax format. I have no desire to climb Everest, but it certainly is beautiful from a distance.

It’s amazing how many people try to tackle that mountain every year, especially considering all the hardship one has to go through to get there (not to mention the expense) and the preparation one has to go through before even attempting to scale it. The movie does a good job taking the viewer through the ordeal before the real ordeal begins.

The acting was fine although Knightley doesn’t get to do much but sit and cry and I would’ve liked to know more about Gyllenhaal’s character. I was intrigued by Fischer but the movie doesn’t really give us much of substance about him.

“Everest” is not a feel-good movie and you better be in the right frame of mind to see it. Once things go bad it is relentlessly grim. Which makes it all the more chilling.







One response to “At The Movies: Everest

  1. The book “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer who was also part of Hall’s group was very good, albeit heart-wrenching. Was his character in the movie?

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