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Everest Review

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Standing a tad over 29,000 feet tall, Mount Everest remains one of the most inhospitable places on the face of the Earth...and yet people head there in their droves each year, on journeys of self discovery and to test themselves against the limits of human endurance.

Everest is based on a real expedition in 1996 that went catastrophically wrong and is every bit the tension-filled adventure that comes from taking on a challenge with genuine life or death consequences. Director Baltasar Kormakur puts us right in the midst of the grueling and treacherous trek, along with his excellent cast and takes us on the arduous journey as he asks the most obvious question of each of them; why?

Each character is fleshed out a little at base camp so that we feel engaged enough with them all to make us care who makes it down alive, and the range of characters covers most of the diverse personalities that take on the formidable mountain, including a journalist, an adventurer, a businessman, an everyman hoping to teach his kids some valuable life lessons and a professional climber. All of these grab a few minutes screen time before we set off up the slope and it's a credit to Kormakur that he gets the best out of such a large cast.

Where the movie truly excels though is in the high-altitude horrors of trying to survive such a precarious landscape. The 3D is put to dizzyingly good effect here and the sense of scale of the hulking mountain and it's terrifying, sheer drops means that the movie really is best enjoyed on a huge screen. Gorgeously shot so that the immense size of Everest is captured, the film is never less than thrilling and completely gripping. Ambitious and extraordinary in scope, it also manages to capture the humanity of the people involved on the ill-fated expedition, even if the grim outcome is set in stone before the journey proper begins.


There are a few missteps along the way; Keira Knightley and Robin Wright are wasted as part of the "back home" side of the plot and there is a tendency for too much time spent lingering on sweeping shots of the incredible vistas of the mountain itself.

At it's core though, Everest is a visceral, atmospheric and unsympathetic tale of the reality of man vs the power of nature. Blending white-knuckle, nail-biting tension with the precipitous, nauseating terror of a battle against the harshest elements, the movie is both an old-fashioned adventure story and a fitting tribute to lives lost on a punishing journey.




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The Movie Bit: Everest Review
Everest Review
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