Title – Everest (2015)
Director – Baltasar Kormakur (2 Guns)
Cast – Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, Jake Gyllenhaal, John Hawkes, Keira Knightly, Emily Watson, Martin Henderson, Robin Wright, Sam Worthington
Plot – In 1996 an Everest expedition led by New Zealand explorer Rob Hall (Clarke) comes into difficulty when the climbers reach the peak of the mountain and bad weather hits.
“They see a regular guy can follow impossible dreams; maybe they’ll do the same”
Review by Eddie on 18/09/2015
While it never (please pun haters just let me have my moment and be done with it) reaches any truly great heights, Baltasar Kormakur’s big screen spectacle documenting the true life Everest tragedy that befell a group of thrill seekers traversing the greatest mountain of them all, is most certainly a fantastically filmed exhilarating slow burn that is a joy to behold at the cinema.
Showing promise with his early Hollywood films Contraband and then 2 Guns, Icelandic born Kormakur delivers in spades here with his capturing of arguable the worlds harshest pinnacle, a peak of life or death battle of wills where quite literally your body is dying as every passing minute fly’s by. Aided by an efficient behind the scenes team of D.O.P Salvatore Totino and screenwriters William Nicholson and Simon Beaufoy, Kormakur makes Everest an experience where you do feel as though your taking part in your very own type of mountain trek and it’s a credit to the film that a big budget tale such as this can remain engaging in not only the big scale moments but the more small scale as well and for those uninitiated in the joys of modern filmmaking, Everest could almost be passed up as a documentary in many ways. This really is as close as many of us will ever get to such dangerous heights.
Capturing the land, the environment and the energy of the climb, Kormakur and his film do find themselves coming up short on characters however and while it’s a staple of such disaster/survival genre examples, it would’ve been nice to feel a little more empathy/sympathy for our group of mountaineers. Led by the standout Jason Clarke (an Australian that keeps delivering) this all-star cast struggle to really make inroads into a loaded ensemble and while Jake Gyllenhaal and John Hawkes (as an everyday man that’s both kind of inspiring and seriously annoying in equal measure) support Clarke well others in the film remain largely unmemorable.
From Josh Brolin’s proud Texan Beck Weathers through to Sam Worthington’s almost pointless appearance as concerned bystander Guy Cotter, Everest never whole heartedly gets us to commit our emotions to these people and while it’s nice that human beings so often want to push the boundaries of what their capable of, it’s hard to feel (speaking personally) too much sorrow when some people seem only concerned with personal goals no matter the cost to their families back home. In the end, you don’t mess with Mother Nature and flirting with your life with her often ends up bad for us.
Everest is a worthy recipient of a trip to your local cinema and one of the better examples of its kind to come forward in quite some time. While it doesn’t always make us care in the way it should, Everest is always on top of its game when it comes to providing the visual spectacle and for fans of pushing it to the limit, Everest will be a joy to behold.
3 ½ handy bottles of Gatorade out of 5