Friday, April 22, 2016

Film Review: Everest (2015)

Everest (Review)
United States/United Kingdom/2015
Format Viewed For Review: Vudu Rental
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...a suspenseful and adventurous movie, bolstered by a strong cast and spectacular visuals."

Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) is the leader of Adventure Consultants, a group of Mount Everest guides. He leads his crew and his clients to the peak with some unfortunate consequences...

Everest is a film inspired by real events. The film follows Rob Hall and his crew of consultants; he's also joined by Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal) and his company, Mountain Madness. The first act of the film essentially follows these professionals and their clients as they prepare for their trek. They ascend several times to prepare their bodies for the harsh conditions. The second act follows the actual trek to the peak. You see the harsh conditions and the human struggles to get to the top. And, the final third or so of the story follows the way down, which is complicated by a severe storm. The ending felt a bit abrupt, but this is a film inspired by true events – I suppose you shouldn't expect anything too surprising.

Everest is a great film. If I could describe this film in one word, it would be: adventurous. I can only imagine how exhilarating and difficult it is to climb any mountain, let alone Mount Everest. Although you'd obviously have to experience it first-hand to truly know, I felt this film captured a grand sense of adventure. It's not a shoot-em' up thrill ride filled with explosions and avalanches – don't expect any of that. This is a suspenseful and adventurous mountain climbing film. There are moments where this film took my breath away and those that kept me at the edge of my seat. I wish there was more focus on the characters, though. You get an idea of their character, but these were actual people. I hoped there would be a strong human connection to it all.

The cast is great all-around. Jason Clarke delivers a strong performance as the leading man and Jake Gyllenhaal offers a strong supporting performance. Josh Brolin was also great. The film was shot beautifully. The visuals are spectacular, allow you to immerse yourself in this snowy mountain. The music was also well-fitted for the film. Everest is written by William Nicholson and Simon Beaufoy and directed by Baltasar Kormakur. Aside from some missing character, the film is well-written and structured. Kormakur's direction is also seamless, delivering his vision of the unfortunate event with finesse. He creates suspense and adventure without indulging in the melodramatics. Everything feels just right.

Overall, Everest is a great film. It's a suspenseful and adventurous movie, bolstered by a strong cast and spectacular visuals. There are moments where I wished I knew each person better, but it did not spoil the film's overall effectiveness. I recommend it for fans of the genre.

Score: 8/10
Parental Guide: Some blood.

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