Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Everest (2015) - 7 stars out of 10

Everest (2015) - 7 stars out of 10

“Everest” is a biographical disaster film that chronicles the events of the 1996 Mount Everest Disaster.  It is the second-coldest movie of 2015 (behind “The Revenant” but ahead of “The Hateful Eight”) and will certainly have you second-guessing that mountain climbing trip that you have planned.  The story is terribly sad but the visual effects are wonderfully impressive.  The world of Mt. Everest comes to life as you’ve never seen it before.  The combination of GCI and live footage transports you from base camp all the way up to Everest’s peak.  And the snow is real.  Giant refrigerating units were used to cool the sound stage below freezing while the combination of wind and snow was used to elicit real reactions from the actors.  In a weaker year for movies, “Everest” may have netted a nomination for Best Visual Effects but with such impressive competition,  it didn’t stand a chance.  The film boasts a lot of star power, though it was often underutilized.  Jason Clarke and Jake Gyllenhaal, cast as expedition leaders, appropriately drive the energy of the film.  Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, and Michael Kelly thrive in their secondary roles as they complicate the expedition due to the various challenges faced during the ascent of a mountain this high.  As far as actresses are concerned, Emily Watson delivers a great emotional performance but Keira Knightley and Robin Wright (whose names both appear above Watson’s) barely have any screen time and felt like wasted potential.  Still, all of the acting has the quality that makes us question whether we are watching history or a movie.  “Everest” may not have won any awards but it is a great recreation of history that will instill in you an appreciation for everybody who has reached Everest’s peak and a reverence for those who have lost their lives trying to get there.

[Pictured: Everest's visuals are stunning and enjoyable... until disaster strikes.  Then we wish that this expedition had never begun.]

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