‘Everest’ is based on the true story of a 1996 group ascent of the largest mountain on the planet, led by Rob Hall (played by Jason Clarke – recently in the new Terminator movie) of ‘Adventure Consultants’. Hall and his company having essentially invented the Everest tourism industry.
Directed by Baltsar Kormakur (2 Guns, Contraband), the film features Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Michael Kelly and amongst others as members of Hall’s group, with Sam Worthington as a support member of the team, and Jake Gyllenhaal as Scott Fischer, another experienced leader of a different group also on the mountain.
As his team attempt to summit the mountain, they face all of the challenges that the mountain and nature can throw at them. Whilst the pace is fast in the film, there are attempts to prevent it drifting into a numb action film and to draw out the characters in peril in one of the most extreme environments Earth. But, even with these attempts, you are left with little sense of the characters, and I count shake the sense that the peril these guys are in, is somewhat self inflicted.
Emily Watson is terrific in her role as matriarch of the base camp, the person sat waiting for the group’s return and injects tension and concern through the film. Furthermore, Keira Knightley and Robin Penn feature briefly as wives of team members, adding a sense of emotional distress to the story and the characters immersed in the chaos that is unfolding.
The film’s setting is stunning and the cinematography stands out with its beautiful landscapes, dramatic aerial shots of the climbers, and moments shot from down within crevasses. Whilst I’m sure CGI and sets are involved, there is also no doubt that the actors were at times, in pretty severe locations themselves.
Its a rollercoaster of an action drama that has solid performances across the board and does make for an exciting couple of hours, where you’ll certainly appreciate the warmth afterwards.
Everest is currently available to rent / purchase