Out Now On-Demand
The most dangerous place on earth.
Mountaineering thriller, based on the 1996 Mt Everest disaster where eight climbers were caught in a vicious blizzard in the most unforgiving of environments. Jason Clarke (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) is Kiwi mountaineer Rob Hall, Keira Knightley plays his pregnant wife who waits at home in Christchurch for updates, Jake Gyllenhaal is American guide Scott Fischer. Co-stars Emily Watson, Josh Brolin, Martin Henderson, Robin Wright and Sam Worthington.
Adventure, Thriller, True Story & Biography, 3D, Blockbuster
Rating: M Content may disturb
Between Robert Zemeckis’ upcoming The Walk and this struggle for survival atop the planet’s highest mountain, fans of vertiginous cinema experiences are well served for spectacle this year, especially when writ large across IMAX screens. From its title onwards, Everest doesn’t muck about. Like 2013's Sir Ed docu-drama Beyond the Edge, it thrives on sometimes treating, sometimes terrifying the audience with the sheer scale and spectacle of the awe-inspiring Himalayan peak.
Past that, Everest faces a few challenges of its own in following tragic true story over triumphant. The demise of Kiwi mountaineer Rob Hall is familiar to this part of the world, and while no amount of current affairs coverage over the years can compete with the impact of this spectacular contemporary recreation, the ending will be a foregone conclusion for many, stealing much impact from the film.
While it’s welcome to see Hollywood blockbuster-style filmmaking used in service of bringing “the most dangerous place on Earth” to life, as the film’s talented ensemble battles an unfortunate mix of extreme elements and questionable decision-making, Everest itself struggles in search of a narratively satisfying finale.
As one expedition member after another succumbs to the punishing conditions – some suddenly, others less so – events are recounted either matter-of-factly or with grim fascination, cumulatively adding up to an uncomfortable onscreen tally of real people who actually died. There’s little to entertain or find especially heroic in Everest’s concluding scenes. Instead, a sense of futile tragedy settles in, rendered even more potent over the course of Hall’s final interactions with his pregnant wife.
Is Everest the villain? Is hubris? Does the film have one, or need one, at all? These are but some of the questions that lingered after this somewhat puzzling, if ever-watchable, experience.
Time Out London
Little White Lies (UK)
Stuff.co.nz (Graeme Tuckett)
I spent the first half of the film cheering the men (and woman) on up Everest, hoping that what I knew was coming wouldn't eventuate. Unfortunately, history has dictated how this film was to end and for some it was just that.
Everest really was a spectacular film, the setting was remarkable, the acting was spot on and the kiwi accents which I think are so hard to mimic were done well. But what I loved about this movie was just how believable it was, when they were crossing crevasses, when they were climbing Hillary's step, when they reached the summit you were right there with them. I was terrified, I was cold and i'm sure I was hypoxic along with the actual climbers.
The goodbye scene between Rob Hall and his wife Jan was incredibly heart-rending (however I missed the final goodbye as I was too busy hissing 'shut up' at the movie goers behind us who decided it was a good part of the movie to start a conversation).
Overall this movie is worth a watch, but if your prone to shedding a few tears... bring two boxes of tissues.
A riveting well made film...stunning 3d, IMAX.. One of the greats for the year,....
Brendan de Vere
Everest has the last word.
Why, oh why, would you want to do it?
Climb Everest, that is, and before I sat down to a film where the outcome is a foregone conclusion, many people have asked me why I attempt to do the things that I do. At the end of the day we all want to feel as though we are alive and that our existence on this earth has not gone unnoticed. Our need to achieve the impossible far outweighs the risks and dangers that we as human beings often tend to do. It's more than the thrill or the story. It's about feeding our soul the very thing that it yearns for, whether it be climbing Everest, jumping out of a plane or diving deep into the unknown abyss of our oceans. Some of us can ignore our impulses, others just have to see them through.
Josh Brolin's character, Beck Weathers tells of his state of depression when he is away from the climb and that the only cure is for him to be chasing the outrageous adventure. John Hawkes character, Doug Hansen tells of his commitment to show his children that an ordinary man can achieve extraordinary things. What ever the reason, everybody has something that drives them to make the trek up "the most dangerous place on earth", and as it was stated the mountain always has the last word.
You have to remember when watching this movie, that the star of the show is Mount Everest backed up with a strong performance by Mother Nature in a supporting role. Both these two gigantic characters determine who will survive and who will meet their demise. Along for the ride is an ensemble cast lead by antipodeans, Jason Clarke as Rob Hall, Sam Worthington as Guy Cotter and Elizabeth Debicki as Caroline MacKenzie. Throw in the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightley and Emily Watson and the film has a formidable cast worthy of conquering the greatest challenges the famous peak can throw at them.
Being based on the true event that happened on the fateful day in May, 1996, we know that lives are lost and the cost that it had on the survivors will remain with them for the rest of their days. The story centres around two climbing teams that made the enormous trek to the peak only to be left fighting for their very lives on the decent down the mountain when a massive storm does all it can to wipe them from the face of the earth. Director Baltasar Kormakur takes the viewer right on to the mountain with inspiring views and perfectly scaled shots of the climbers against the backdrop of a harsh and unforgiving terrain. You can see just how small they all are making the visual effects a masterful piece of cinema. Some parts of the film were shot in Italy but the audience cannot ignore the great spectacle that washes past their eyes.
Kormakur and his cast give everything they can in a film where narrative was always going to be limited and the outcome was already known. Some parts of you are still wishing for a happier conclusion as we see some acting favourites die in a very lonely world. I was on the edge of my seat when confronted with the authentic tragedies that were unfolding before my very eyes and genuinely heartbroken at a scene involving Rob Hall and his wife.
'Everest' is a must in 3D to truly appreciate the magnitude of this harrowing event.