Posts Tagged ‘Everest’


Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 2.56.04 PMHere are Richard’s CP24 reviews for “Black Mass” and “Everest,” plus a look back at the highlights from the Toronto International Film Festival!

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 2.48.27 PMHere are Richard’s “Canada AM” reviews for “Black Mass” and “Everest,” plus a look back at the highlights from the Toronto International Film Festival!

Watch the whole thing HERE!

EVEREST: 3 STARS. “was Doug wearing the blue or the yellow suit?”

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.41.28 PMIf you’re an armchair adventurer like me the hardships the characters in the new snowsuit drama “Everest” put themselves through—and pay handsomely for—seem extreme. Paying $65,000 to climb to the summit of Earth’s highest mountain seems a high price to risk life and limb and when I say life and limb, I mean it. If the altitude and avalanches don’t get you, frostbite may well take an arm or a leg.

Based on the real events of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, Jason Clark plays Rob Hall, experienced climber and leader of commercial expeditions up the mountain. His group, Adventure Consultants, is one of several making the trip. Another, led by party boy Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal) leaves at the same time, and agrees to share resources on the trek. Climbers include Beck Weathers (Josh Brolin), Doug Hansen (John Hawkes), Yasuko Namba (Naoko Mori) and journalist Jon Krakauer (Michael Kelly). Some reach the summit, others do not, but the trick isn’t getting to the top, it’s getting back down again, and that’s where the drama really begins.

Director Baltasar Kormákur delivers a screen full of beautiful—and occasionally vertigo inducing–“You are there 3-D shots” to give the viewer a sense of the dangers Hall and Company are up against and you will want to take a hot bath after the frostbite scenes, but the human element is lacking.

Kormákur tries to set the stakes before much actual climbing happens. Back home marriages are crumbling and wives are expecting babies but that’s about as far as we get with any real character work. Sure, Hall is a principled and skilled climber, heroic even, but the movie gets beyond the broad strokes with the cast. When they start falling and freezing to death it’s hard to muster much emotion, given that we never really get to know the characters. The fact they’re all bundled up in snow gear and mostly unrecognizable most of the time doesn’t help. Remind me again, was Doug wearing the blue or the yellow suit?

(SPOILER ALERT) There are some unexpected turns. Suffice to say that marquee value does not guarantee survival.

We never get a palpable, passionate answer as to why the climbers are so driven to hike up the side of a mountain to the approximate cruising altitude of a Boeing 747. It’s not enough to say, “It’s not altitude, it’s the attitude.” A little more depth would have helped the movie scale new heights and given us a reason to embrace the characters.

If George Mallory, the English mountaineer who took part in the first three British expeditions to Mount Everest in the early 1920s, was a film critic he might suggest you go see “Everest” “Because it’s there,” but his famous line doesn’t apply here. Instead, go for the scenery, but don’t expect great drama.