A climbing expedition on Mt. Everest is devastated by a severe snow storm.
‘Everest’ is a thrilling disaster movie based on the true story of a disastrous expedition up to the summit in the early 90s. I watched the film in an IMAX screening and it really enhances the story, with the superb effects emphasising the harsh conditions to the extent you can almost feel them through the screen. The film begins by introducing us to rival ‘tour’ operators, Australian Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) and the laid back American Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal), who have both capitalised on improving safety conditions to build businesses that offer keen mountaineers the opportunity to be taken to the summit of Everest by an experienced climber. The main focus of the film is on Hall’s group, and we’re introduced to his team and the various tourists who have spent a lot of money to climb the mountain.
The film takes its time to tell its story, allowing us to spend time with the characters and gain a deeper understanding of what compelled them to take on the challenge of Everest. When the cast contains the likes of Josh Brolin, Emily Watson, John Hawkes and Michael Kelly, I’m more than happy to spend time in their company, even if character development takes a backseat to the stunning effects and the mountain backdrop. Like any good disaster movie, you can feel the tension in the air from the start, with small setbacks teased as a precursor to the bigger events to come. With ‘Everest’ having its basis in a true story, the events feel that bit more poignant than your average fare. Perhaps surprisingly, when things start to go wrong, the film’s most horrifying moments are played relatively low key with no dramatic deaths.
‘Everest’ might not be entering into new territory with its subject matter or its narrative, but a strong cast and stunning cinematography make this a cinematic experience well worth spending money on.
Directed By: Baltasar Kormakur
Starring: Jason Clarke, Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, Emily Watson, John Hawkes, Michael Kelly, Sam Worthington, Robin Wright, Keira Knightley, Thomas Wright, Martin Henderson, Elizabeth Debicki, Naoko Mori, Clive Standen, Vanessa Kirby, Tom Goodman-Hill and Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson