‘Everest’ Is Alternately Corny and Moving

The fictionalized mountain climbing adventure at least has the guts to address the current traffic jam of climbers (and their left-behind trash).

A few quick notes on Baltasar Kormákur’s fictionalized mountain climbing adventure Everest: At least it has the guts to address the current traffic jam of climbers (and their left-behind trash) caused by reckless amateurs trying to conquer the world’s highest mountain. Based on true events from 1996 and filmed in Nepal and Italy, the movie’s virtues are the same as its faults — those extra touches of drama and characterization that documentaries can’t quite provide. Alternately corny and moving.

Expedition leader Rob (Jason Clarke) has his hands full taking care of the Texan with bad eyesight (Josh Brolin), the humble postal worker who has something to prove (John Hawkes), the expert climber with a drug problem (Jake Gyllenhaal), et al., while wives Keira Knightley and Robin Wright fret at home and the base camp expedition manager (Emily Watson) worries that there won’t be enough “clients at the top” — that’s bad for business. As in car chase movies, the more realistic the stunts, the less spectacular they appear on screen. Accidents happen. Nasty weather on the descent. Oxygen, ropes, and lack of same. As in all thrillers, we try to guess who will live and who will die.

See Meru; North Face; K2: Siren of the Himalayas; The Eiger Sanction; The Blue Light (as well as White Hell of Pitz Palu); Touching the Void; Beyond the Edge; and Alive before you see this one, but see it eventually.


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