Release Date: September 25, 2015
Director: Baltasar Kormakur
Writer: William Nicholson (screenplay), Simon Beaufoy (screenplay)
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Elizabeth Debicki, Keira Knightley, Robin Wright, Josh Brolin, Sam Worthington, Jason Clarke, Clive Standen, Emily Watson, Martin Henderson, Michael Kelly, John Hawkes, Vanessa Kirby, Tom Goodman-Hill, Naoko Mori, Mia Goth, Mark Derwin, Thomas M. Wright, Micah Hauptman, Ingvar Eggert Sigurdsson, Justin Salinger
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 121 minutes
Production Company: Chromakey-Hire.Com, Cross Creek Pictures, Free State Pictures, RVK Studios, Universal Pictures, Walden Media, Working Title Films
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Thriller
Country: UK, USA, Iceland
With Mt. Everest being the highest peak in the world, aiming to reach that peak does pique your curiosity. Countless times individuals around the world have marveled at this mountain, hoping to conquer it in all its glory. Not to disrespect those who have lost their lives, but the thought of it can also be insane. I myself was curious to get a taste of something that has gained such worldwide appeal. I wanted to see if I could relate to the passion of putting my life on the line for the greatness derived from reaching the peak. The film Everestdoes deliver this, but nothing more. While it may not be in my best taste to watch something like this, I think the main objective of this production was met and will give you a hint of the danger on top.
Everest has a star-studded cast, which may have been slightly detrimental to the film. With each recognizable face, it became difficult to focus on just one actor. I wasn’t watching the real people these actors were portraying, but only the actors. This is not to say they didn’t do a great job, but choosing such a cast took it a little longer to get me into actual story.
I looked forward to seeing how dangerous the mountain would be, but that reveal barely happened. As the film progressed, I wasn’t able to grasp the true magnitude of the mission at hand. The trailers and Jason Clarke’s character tell you what’s to come and all that is danger, but this wasn’t convincing enough. For extended periods of time, one would observe obscure, broken bodies trekking across the snow with occasional updates on the elevation reached. On multiple occasions, when 10,000 or 20,000 feet ran across the screen I didn’t feel it was earned. It was like the film skipped over the hard parts and only focused on the arrival of the next check point. I went along for the ride, but the film did nothing to make me care.
However, my dream started to come through towards the end. Once the storm hit, everything was put into perspective. I found myself witnessing the danger that was spoken of before and couldn’t believe how far some would push themselves to reach their goal. I felt sorry for those who met their demise in this task. While not being able to relate to at this time, each actor did convey how important the trip was to the real people who has undertaken this journey. Each had his or her own source of motivation. It took a while, but by this time into the movie, I started to care. I saw this on a fake IMAX 3D screen which took away the spectacle. I say fake because even though the picture resolution and sound were crisp, the 70mm screen wasn’t present. I wouldn’t say it’s worth the extra dollars.
The highlight of the film is undoubtedly the last 30 minutes. At this point, the price of admission became worth it. True stories should only be told if they’re worth telling, and the true story behind this film came from its conclusion. Director Baltasar Kormakur was able to beautifully conjure up the emotions of a few in their last moments. The motivation that drove some to fight a little longer deserved the audience’s notice. My respect goes to those who fight for what they want. The actors did this. In addition, the movie’s imagery will never be forgotten.