Cert: 12A Runtime: 121 mins Director: Baltasar Kormakur Cast: Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, Jake Gyllenhaal, John Hawkes, Keira Knightley, Robin Wright, Emily Watson, Sam Worthington and Michael Kelly
Human beings simply aren’t built to function at the cruising altitudes of a seven-forty-seven
Mount Everest has fascinated me for a while now. Ever since I heard of this release I have done a lot of reading and research on the topic of Everest. The commercialization of Everest is astounding as long you have the money anyone can climb to the highest peek in the world. There are no guarantees getting to the top and if you can’t make it and you are near death you are left to perish on the mountain. Loosely based on Jon Krakauer’s book Into Thin Air, Everest is about the morning of May 10, 1996, climbers (Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin) from two expeditions start their final ascent toward the summit of Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. With little warning, a violent storm strikes the mountain, engulfing the adventurers in one of the fiercest blizzards ever encountered by man. Challenged by the harshest conditions imaginable, the teams must endure blistering winds and freezing temperatures in an epic battle to survive against nearly impossible odds.
Oh dear Everest has been given the Hollywood treatment, vastly over dramatized, cheesy one liners and not much feeling. There are some great elements to Everest mind you Baltasar Kormakur has made a visually stunning film. You can feel the grand scale of Everest from each shot you know this is dangerous terrain and nature is the boss. The 3D element was ok I can imagine in IMAX it would of been a phenomenal site but it was unnecessary over all. This was a great cast ensemble potentially the best of the year. Not the biggest Jason Clarke fan but he did a stellar job at the helm of Everest. The scene between him and his wife on the phone was heart wrenching and one of the best scenes I have witnessed all year. Josh Brolin as the loud Texan does the job he is paid to do and irritate us. Jake Gyllenhaal was below par here not the most memorable performance but you always need the star power. John Hawkes steals the show for me for the short screen time he has he packs a punch. He is such an underestimated actor. The sole of the film is a few key shots mainly the question of why they were climbing Everest? The fact that no one had a real answer really does show the influence of money in society and why the mountain is so over-crowded every season.
As mentioned Everest does lack a real message and it’s very vague with a lack of detail. I would recommend Krakauer’s book to any one that has an interest in this subject. The fact the Sherpas of Nepal don’t get any real nod or screen time is shocking. Without the Sherpas not many people could get up Everest! The pacing of the film is very mixed too, the walk to base-camp is well timed and done well but the disaster itself on takes place in the last 30 minutes. It truly doesn’t make much sense at all, the incident is treated with great respect but damm it’s all mumbled up. A friend told me it would of been interesting to see Warner Herzog’s interpretation of the subject matter. It needed to be grittier and more compelling for it to succeed more. Everest is a great watch but it’s a shame it didn’t have that core emotion to make is brilliant.