Saturday, October 3, 2015

Movie Review: Everest, in 3D

Yes, if the trailer appeals to you at all, go see this move.  There are no great truths put forth here, but it is a gripping tale of adventure-turned-survival, as well as several cases of non-survival, on a killer mountain.  Go see it in a decent theater, see it in 3D, it is worth it for the sheer damn spectacle of it all.

About the story, the facts are well known.  Several guide companies had been building up to larger groups of less-experienced (but still at least somewhat experienced) climbers up Everest, and well, something was bound to go wrong sooner or later.  Here, you can read the details at Wikipedia if you wish, but this movie tells the story of when things finally, inevitably did go wrong.  Naturally, there are slightly conflicting stories among the survivors – and their subsequent memoirs – about some of the details of the disaster.  I have no real depth of knowledge here, and cannot judge the movie's accuracy to any one account, but it at least seemed to get the bones of the story right, which is enough for this sort of movie.  The characters at least behaved in a believable way, nobody is made to stand out as a particularly bad guy, and the story moves forward at a reasonable pace.

What is specifically not addressed is the entire topic of the ethics of guided expeditions to Everest.  But that is not the story here, nor is it a particularly filmable subject, and this movie's makers wisely chose to sidestep the question.  Move on, nobody's plumbing the depths of those questions here.  Put on your 3D glasses and enjoy the sheer damn spectacle.  And it is spectacular.

A couple of things worth noting are the cast and the special effects, especially the 3D effects.  All were competently done without any needless histrionics.  The actors were comfortable in their roles, and a big screen in 3D produced the "you are there on the mountain with them" feeling.  Honestly, that's almost certainly the closest I'll get to actually climbing Everest, and it was a good experience.  Also I didn't have to pay $100k plus take a double-digit chance of dying for this particular ride.  (Although going through the I-10/Hwy 49 interchange is always a little dicy that time of day.)

3.25 out of 4 stars.  Even if the deeper questions were barely touched upon, perhaps wisely, it is a compelling story and an unusually spectacular film.

Looks cold, like it's north of I-10 or something.

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