Big Screen: Everest
September 24th 2015
Everest is a movie full of white dudes with beards covered in snow screaming incomprehensibly at each other.
I spent the entire movie trying to figure out which bearded dude was yelling and what they were yelling about. It turns out that mostly they were yelling about being stuck on Mount Everest and going blind while their fingers fell off. I know it’s based on a true story, but this would be a perfect opportunity to assemble a racially diverse cast and include a few women or even just some people who enjoy neon colours so we can tell everyone apart.
As I said, this is a movie about a bunch of idiots who get stuck on Mount Everest, and the film does an excellent job of convincing you that it’s a terrible place to be stranded. Everest is set in the early 90’s just as the scourge of companies escorting rich guys up the mountain for tens of thousands of dollars was getting started.
This is a big problem for the movie, because I had a hard time generating any sympathy for these dickheads.
It tries very hard to give the characters some reason to climb, claiming that they’re trying to inspire kids or beat depression or something, but you know it’s more about boring their neighbors with slideshows or winning a pissing contest at the country club. It’s like when some person decides to cross the Atlantic on a jet ski or circumnavigate the globe on a hang glider or something.
But when they inevitably get into trouble doing so and mobilise endless public resources to rescue them the cold, mean part of my brain can’t escape the conclusion that this moron had no business being there in the first place.
This cold, mean part of my brain was getting a very solid workout during Everest.
That said, this is a well-made movie. It’s beautiful and full of an escalating dread that’s very effective. There are some great actors too, trying hard to make their bearded screaming mean something. I’ll watch any movie that includes people like Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin and John Hawkes. There is also an amazing cast of actresses, like Kiera Knightley, Emily Watson and Robin Wright relegated to the usual disaster movie role of crying on the phone about their husbands. This was disappointing, especially when charisma vacuums like Sam Worthington get plenty to do.
This film certainly isn’t a must-see — it’s deeply flawed, but nonetheless well-constructed and never boring. If you’re looking for a distraction or an escape for a couple of hours Everest might be the ticket.
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