Film Review: Everest
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★★★☆☆ In the slow build of Baltasar Kormákur’s disaster film, one scene shows journalist Jon Krakauer (Michael Kelly), who has joined the Adventure Consultants’ expedition, asking each of his fellow climbers why they would put themselves through very literal near-death experiences to reach the tip of the monstrous mountain. In unison they say back “Because it’s there!” When asked again, in dead seriousness, not a one of the men (and single woman) can give an answer that satisfies him. Looks like he’s going home without much of a message or story. And so is the film. Telling the true story of a 1996 climbing expedition that went horribly wrong, Everest focusses on the Adventure Consultants team led by Rob Hall (Jason Clarke). Competing with around 20 different groups, some of whom appear to have very little mountaineering experience, the team reach the top on 10th May. But a terrible storm arrives, devastating the expedition as the group becomes separated, and lose contact with their base camp. Icelandic director Kormákur’s last two films were the very enjoyable 2 Guns and Contraband, neither of which are bad films, but for sheer cinematic style, Everest makes the other two look like student films. With its sweeping shots over the lower parts of the mountain (with one particularly shiver-inducing view of a rope bridge over a canyon) as well as of the snow and cloud enveloped highs, it’s truly something worth seeing on the biggest screen imaginable. Cinematographer Salvatore Totino stakes a brilliant claim to capturing beautiful and unique images, and is in with very realistic chances of awards nominations.
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