Movies based on true events are usually more compelling than fictional ones. These films try to show the impact of events and dangers that people faced in real-life situations in the hope of capturing full audience engagement. Everest shouldn’t have any difficulty doing this.
Examining a disastrous expedition to climb Mount Everest in 1996, Everest is often white-knuckle viewing where the contest between man vs nature leads to unexpected results.
Rob (Jason Clarke) is a hiking expert eager for his new assignment. Leading a group of men in a climbing expedition up Mount Everest, he is confident all will go well. When calamity strikes his group, including Scott (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Beck (Josh Brolin), find themselves in peril. Relying on their skills and each other, they face a deadly path towards survival.
Viewers suffering from vertigo should probably steer clear of Everest. Having many gravity-defying shots, the cinematography is its main attraction. Creating a fully immersive experience, the photography successfully delves into the harsh conditions the climbers faced. With each participant having different personalities, no two situations are the same. This lends to some genuinely tense moments as fear, aggression and courage play out amidst the snow-capped vistas.
Whilst occasionally moving at a too leisurely pace with character clichés evident, Everest is generally gripping viewing. The very strong cast effectively conveys the pressures their characters face and their determination to see things through. Although it beggars belief as to why anyone would pay a fortune to go through such a trek, their spirit of adventure shines through. Scenes showing the preparation involved in the task are interesting with the reactions of those involved genuinely believable.
Everest is a decent biographical account of an engrossing tale. It may not inspire anyone to take up mountaineering anytime soon but it’s a very human story worth telling.
Reviewed by Patrick Moore
Rating out of 10: 7
Everest will be released on 3D Blu-ray, DVD and for Digital Download from 21 January 2016.
This review first published on 21 September 2015 for the cinema release.