Too Eager For Treachery

Everest (2015) 
A Review By Ben Hunter
3 Out Of 5 Stars


Feeling impatient to see some chaos already is a major fail!

The mountain in its perilous nature is still a feat that craves conquering from the adventurous.  Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) leads a team of such adventurers on a quest of such conquering.  The mountain, however, may have other plans.  Say, steep ridges at high altitudes?  These altitudes detract and diminish the air to a mutated thinned state, forcing one to crave oxygen in addition to the adventure amongst the ruckus of the weather.  These factors, caused by the mountain, can even go so far as to cause blindness.  Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal) leads the other team alongside Rob who face such blinding factors.  

The mountain is treacherous.  From adventure can come hypoxia from the cold.  So cold that one thinks they’re too hot from keeping warm, forcing them to remove their clothes to cool off and face the cold bare or almost.  Climbing expert Beck Weathers (Josh Brolin), faces the blunt indignity of the icebox, holding on to nothing but images of his wife and children to persevere.  Rob, on the other hand, wonders if he can do the same with his wife Jen (Kiera Knightley) on the radio and the rest of the base crew (Sam Worthington, Emily Watson) praying he’ll make it down the mountain and its acrimonious behavior.  Trapped, Rob tells his pregnant wife and the others all listening in, to get some sleep and not worry too much … while he’s trapped … on the mountain.

Mt. Everest, the highest mountain on the planet.  Located in Nepal, is one of 7 wonders that adventurers seek to conquer.  Baltasar Kormákur (2 Guns, Contraband) helms a star studded cast in an effort to capture just what it’s like to leap a mountain in single steps.  

Never Let Go!
I love how Dario Marianelli’s score put me in the right mood to begin with as well as once the real people being portrayed showed their faces in the end.  I wanted to disrupt everyone around me to Shazam the soundtrack and be sure I’d be able to find the beautiful music later.

However, the music is far from making this film complete.  Throwing out how I could make out some of the sets as if they were straight out of a new fall drama on cable television, or missed opportunities for great cinematography; for the longest time I kept asking myself, “Okay, when does crap hit the fan?” putting that delicately.  It felt like more than half of the film was exposition, information and more information needed to “set us up properly” so we’d be “more than ready” when things do start to go haywire.  The feeling of everything is just a little too perfect and I feel really bad when conflict has to take place, came over me.  Not in the good way, I was a little too eager to see treachery. 

In addition, I should’ve felt a lot more remorse and pain as our heroes do.  But my date made a great point about how even though I know why you’re taking on this dangerous feat, I still don’t sympathize with you.  An obvious scene of “why do it?” to address this was blatantly allotted, once everyone was on their way up the peak in the beginning.  Yet we both were removed to a large degree and felt primarily of “you knew the risks when you signed up, and I can’t feel completely sympathetic when those risks manifest themselves.”  

This is what movies are made for, to have us feel what the story wants us to feel even though we’re sitting, watching, in a removed state from the cold winds in comfy theater seats.  But this is what separates the good films from the disastrous.  Just like the journey … up the mountain.  

Adventure, 121 Minutes, PG-13
Written By: William Nicholson and Simon Beaufoy
Directed By: Baltasar Kormákur
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, Kiera Knightley, John Hawkes, Sam Worthington, Emily Watson, & Robin Wright

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