Everest (2015)

Everest (2015)

2015 PG-13 121 Minutes

Adventure | Drama

Inspired by the incredible events surrounding a treacherous attempt to reach the summit of the world's highest mountain, "Everest" documents the awe-inspiring journey of two different expeditions c...

Overall Rating

7 / 10
Verdict: Good

User Review

  • WHAT I LIKED: Sometimes, at the limits of human ability and far from everyday life, Man v Nature movies force their characters to ask some pretty existential questions about the reason they put one foot in front of the other. Other times though, they ignore that stuff and focus instead on the sheer endurance test that nature demands.

    Baltasar Kormákur, William Nicholson and Simon Beaufoy's 'Everest,' is definitely a film of the latter kind, as it follows the true story of two climbing groups scaling the highest mountain in the world. We witness little contemplation or discussion on their parts about their reason they put themselves through the obvious hell that confronts them; we just accept they're there and watch as they push themselves to reach the top.

    It's a simple and compelling narrative peppered with moments of peril, but it's way it's brought to life that will have you hooked from start to finish. For one, the mix of challenging location shooting, impressive set-design and visual effects combine to create a realistic environment that's utterly seamless and frankly incredible so that there's not a moment you don't believe these folks aren't actually climbing Everest. That - along with great score from Dario Marianelli - creates a sense of how small the characters are, and what peril they're facing in each moment. That's also sold brilliantly by the star-studded cast (Jason Clarke, Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, Beck Weathers, Emily Watson) who all quite unsurprising do exactly what's needed of them in building realistic characters and dynamics so that we can invest a little emotionally in their journeys. Couple that with the fact the film occasionally cuts to the families they've left behind (Keira Knightley and Robin Wright) to add extra stakes to the proceedings; you've got yourself a thoroughly engaging movie where you're hooked by the compelling narrative and its atmosphere, as well as by a smattering of character development.

    WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: It would have been nice to derive a little more into the reason the characters were so driven to climb Everest, as that would certainly have upped the emotional engagement.

    VERDICT: A simple but highly effective man vs nature film driven by a compelling true story, 'Everest,' will have you hooked because of the way its atmosphere is built, but not necessarily because of its characters.