Visually stunning, stressful and tense, this tale of survival and sacrifice demands to be seen in an IMAX sanctioned theater – find the biggest screen, the best sound and you can then – basically – tell your friends you’ve scaled this dauntingly precarious precipice. Seriously, anything short of this big screen format would be a bust – because although a handful of characters manage to reach summit, the movie never quite does… There is an inherent intensity that exists here, but with wafer-thin characterizations (the reliable guy, the throw caution to the wind guy, the no oxygen guy, the unsure guy, the Asian woman, The Texan, to name more than a few) and forcedly shoehorned antics from back-at-home loved ones, I was never fully invested in the lives at stake. …and this, in turn, kept me from the edge of my seat. EVEREST is mostly style over substance, with breathtaking camera work and dizzying spectacle that becomes tethered to a blizzard of characters that will sadly be forgotten once you leave the theater. The mountain IS the movie. A breeze to recommend based on spectacle alone, EVEREST is a bleak expedition procedural that will ocularly dazzle, occasionally compel and yet never fully engage. Its intentions far exceed its frozen-handed grasp.
Starring: Jason Clarke, Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright and Keira Knightley
Directed by: Baltasar Kormakur (2 GUNS and CONTRABAND)
Running time: 2 hr. 1 min.
Story: 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 challenged beyond their limits by one of the fiercest snowstorms ever encountered by mankind. Their mettle tested by the harshest of elements found on the planet, the climbers will face nearly impossible obstacles as a lifelong obsession becomes a breathtaking struggle for survival. (Universal Pictures)