Wednesday, September 23, 2015





On 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.

Ratings: 7.5/10 from 11,535 users


2 Guns helmer Baltasar Kormakur directs Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, Jason Clarke, and John Hawkes in this adventure docudrama set in 1996, when a number of simultaneous expeditions up Mount Everest resulted in the deaths of eight climbers. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Rating: PG-13 (for intense peril and disturbing images)
Directed By: Baltasar Kormákur
Written By: Justin Isbell, Lem Dobbs
In Theaters: Sep 18, 2015 Wide
US Box Office: $7.2M
Runtime: 2 hr. 1 min.
Universal Pictures


This is Rob and he'll be our guide. He's one hell of a guy. ©Universal Pictures

A film about a tragedy on Everest...

So it's a film about Everest and it's not about Sir Edmund Hillary the first Caucasian man on top of Everest or of Tenzing Norgay the man who helped him get up there after saving his life from falling into a crevasse and had a son who went up there as well. It's also not about the recent tragedy that happened in April of this year after MW 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal or the one that happened in 2014 after an avalanche came crashing down on Base Camp and took the lives of 16 sherpas. The source of this film comes from events that happened in 1996 but it doesn't tell the whole story instead it tells the story from the point of view of Robert Edwin Hall played by Jason Clarke, one of the founders of Adventure Consultants, an adventure outfit that takes people up to Everest. 

This is Beck and that in front of him is Jon. Beck is a Texan and he'll seem arrogant to you at first. Jon is a journalist who'll find new respect for Everest. ©Universal Pictures

I'm not going to do the usual review that I usually do which is to recount as much as I can all that I saw in the film because the story is pretty simple. A group goes up but during their descent things go wrong and several men die including Rob. The beginning of the movie just has you getting to know the characters which you'll be following along in their ascent up Everest. If you watch the trailer you'll basically have a grasp of what goes on in the movie. 

What I'm going to do is go straight to my thoughts on the film.

This is Scott, you won't see much of him and in Malaysia you won't see this scene at all. ©Universal Pictures

The story. If you want to know the story in the film you can read the full synopsis on the Wikipedia for it here. Or you can read the actual Wikipedia page for the 1996 tragedy here. Then there's the books written about it like Into Thin Air written by Journalist Jon Krakauer who was with Rob's team that day, or The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest written by Anatoli Boukreev who was with another team but went on the ascent with Rob's team or Left For Dead: My Journey Home from Everest written by Beck Weathers one of the survivors from Rob's team who was left for dead but somehow managed to walk back to camp on his own or the one written by Lene Gammelgaard who's book Climbing High: A Woman's Account of Surviving the Everest Tragedy was her account of the events or the accounts of another survivor Lou Kasischke who wrote his own book titled After the Wind: 1996 Everest Tragedy, One Survivor's Story. There are many sides to this story and although the film's writers claim to not have taken from any one source the press material for the film claim it was inspired by Jon Krakauer's and Beck Weather's books. 

The scenes in this movie are amazing. Makes you want to go there but after you watch this movie you won't want to climb Everest. ©Universal Pictures

The thing that's different about this disaster movie when compared to other disaster movies especially ones that are inspired or based on actual ones is the lack of focusing on any one relationship. Yes the story is about Rob and there is that touching scene with his wife Jan played by Keira Knightley but it isn't done in a heavy handed manner. What you get between the two is just enough. This story here isn't about any one one person in particular but about several people who's actions on that mountain affected every other. The other difference with this movie in my opinion is how each scene is handled, as dramatized as it is it didn't feel like those done in similar movies. It felt more real somehow. 

This movie will single-handedly show you how hard it is to climb Everest. ©Universal Pictures

The performances. The ones to watch for are from Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin and Emily Watson as their scenes carried the most weight and heaviest emotions. There were also notable moments from John Hawkes, Keira Knightley and Jake Gyllenhaal who although had fewer scenes than John Hawkes did a pretty memorable job. 

Back in 1996 the only way to make a call from the Everest Base Camp was through a satellite phone and Rob's company charges $25 a minute. ©Universal Pictures

The visuals. They were incredible. From the aerial shots to scenes on the mountain they were breathtaking. Some scenes I'm sure would give those with acrophobia otherwise known as the fear of heights a little shiver up their spines. The scenes of the storm and the blizzard were incredible enough that you could swear you were starting to feel cold too. 

The scene from the top is amazing but this movie is about as close as I want to get to it unless someone finds an easier way to get up there. ©Universal Pictures

But not everything was perfect. There were moments in the film that felt slow to a point that it was losing complete momentum and it occurs mostly in the first half of the film the moments before their attempt to summit Everest. But once they begin their descent and the trouble begins your eyes and attention won't likely stray much. 

Because climbing up metal ladders secured by ropes and avoiding crevasses that may not have a bottom isn't something I want to face. ©Universal Pictures

All in all this was a very good film and it's unique in it's own way, different from the others in the genre. At the end there isn't a feel good ending nor a triumphant one. The films epilogue shows you pictures of the actual people that did the summit and those that perished. You walk away from this film with a different perspective and appreciation of Everest and those that dare to challenge it. It feels to me a much more real film that the others in the genre that similarly claim to be inspired or based on true events. 

Or ending up looking like this. ©Universal Pictures

I'm going to give this film a 3.5 out of 5. If you're looking for a film with a decent to good story, good acting and incredible scenes try this film out but be warned you won't be walking out of this one with a smile or with that Wow! feeling. While I was watching this film I noticed the entire hall being dead silent and I think I heard a few sniffles towards the end. And if you can watch it in IMAX I'd suggest you watch it in IMAX. Everest is a film that will open your eyes on what it takes to climb Everest.

Here's the trailer for Everest. Watch it then go find out where and when you can catch it. 

Additionally if you're wondering how much of the film is based on the actual events I'd suggest you head on over to and their page for the Everest movie which is here. You'll see how each actor compares to the actual person that they play in the movie and how certain elements and scenes in the film compare to actual events. And they've even linked more resources for the film and the event at the end of the article. 




Post a Comment