Everest – Movie Review

Inspired by the harrowing true events of a 1996 expedition to reach the summit of the world’s highest mountain, Everest tells the gripping story of man versus mountain. The movie centers on the attempts of two teams of climbers to reach the top. The first, Adventure Consultants is led by Rob Hall (Jason Clarke), the second Mountain Madness led by Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal).

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Jake Gyllenhaal as Scott Fischer

Rob and Scott, both experienced climbers, but with very different approaches, are leading groups of climbers who are willing to risk their lives in a battle against the harshest elements on earth to summit Everest.  With high spirits, months of training, clear weather and ideal conditions, on May 10th 1996 the two groups set out for the final ascent to the top of Everest, 29,029 ft. above sea level.

The exhilaration of some of the group reaching the summit and fulfilling their dreams is short lived as a fierce storm surrounds the climbers. With freezing temperatures and darkness descending the climbers face a challenge bigger than Everest, staying alive is now the goal.  Last to begin their descent are Rob Hall and Doug Hansen. Refusing to leave him behind Rob risks his life to guide Doug to safety but near exhaustion and the raging storm become too much and Everest claims the life of Doug. Alone, stranded on the mountain and exposed to inhumane elements Rob manages to survive two nights on Everest but with attempts at a rescue impossible he never makes it back to base camp.

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Jason Clarke as Rob Hall

May 10th 1996 will forever remain as one of the most tragic dates in climbing history, claiming the lives of Rob Hall, Doug Hansen, Scott Fischer, Yasuko Nambo and Andy Harris. Miraculously and against all odds, Beck Weathers (Josh Brolin), having been left exposed to the elements managed to walk from the mountain side back to base camp. He was later air lifted from the mountain and lost both hands and his nose to extreme frost bite.

The movie also includes a host of other big names such as Sam Worthington (Avatar) who plays Guy Cotter, Keira Knightley (Love Actually) as Rob’s wife Dr. Jan Arnold, Robin Wright (House of Cards) as Peach Weathers, Becks wife, John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone) as Doug Hansen and Michael Kelly (House of Cards) as Jon Krakauer a journalist from Outside magazine.

Josh Brolin as Beck Weathers

Josh Brolin as Beck Weathers

Everest is directed and produced by Baltasar Kormakur (2Guns, Contraband) with a screenplay written by William Nicholson (Les Miserables, Unbroken) and Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire). I went to watch it in IMAX and while the movie is gripping, has a compelling story which tells of an incredible feat of human endurance, personally I felt that the 3D and IMAX elements could have been better utilised to push the experience from ‘good’ to EPIC.  I’m giving it 3 out of 5. Check out the trailer below.

 

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