2015 man vs. nature movie

Rating: 14/20

Plot: A bunch of people take on a mountain and the mountain

From the previews, I figured this would be a flashy and visually-spectacular tale of survival, and I don't really mean either of those in a positive way. I was surprised at how non-showy it was. You've got grand sweeping shots of people on mountains, and there are some moments where you wonder how they got a camera where they got a camera. For the most part, this is straight storytelling without the dazzle, and I think that makes it stronger in a way. Other than that ladder scene on the poster up there, you don't have many big action moments with music crescendos and snappy cuts. The mountain just kills them quietly, a silent assassin. As menacing storm clouds lurk, the screen and the sides of the mountain grow darker, and Everest somehow manages to feel smaller and grittier. I wasn't sure how much of this involved real shots of actors and actresses on mountains and how much this was enhanced by CGI, but the fact that I couldn't really tell is a testament to how good it looked.

The ensemble cast is really good, and I especially liked Josh Brolin and John Hawkes who played the most intriguing characters. Brolin nails this character who bounces between arrogant but likable bravado and this submerged oh-shit-I-shouldn't-be-on-this-mountain anxiety. Hawkes plays a character who you want to root for even when most of you know he deserves what he gets. Everybody else is good, too, but I still had trouble connecting with the characters and really feeling like they were anybody but people who may or may not die on a mountain. There are attempts with two of the characters to sap things up by showing their significant others, but there are so many characters that their stories are stretched pretty thin.

This movie is good enough, but I still prefer Touching the Void.

No comments: