Everest is Definitely Worth The Climb (Movie Review)

everest So let me first start off by saying that I am NOT a fan of 3D in movies.  I’ve found that 3D actually tends to make the picture darker than it should be and less defined.  Outside of the classic Michael Jackson short “Captain Eno,” I’ve yet to see an instance where it didn’t annoy me for some reason.  Now, having said that, Everest is definitely the kind of movie that is enhanced by 3D.  There are sweeping shots that capture massive scope and depth that I think you will loose with the regular format.  The filmmakers definitely took the time to make sure that the 3D was used for more than just some guy poking you in the face with a stick.  This is the type of movie that really tries to create an olfactory experience.  Every element is designed specifically to give you the feeling that you’re right there with them.  Take the music for example; the film opens with a slow deep Cello that evokes the feeling of struggle and loneliness.  Fast-forward to when they arrive in Nepal and it switches to local Nepalese folk music. And when all of the climbers are gathered together at the base of the mountain to train, you hear classic 90’s jams such as “This is How we Do it” by Montell Jordan that INSTANTLY take you back to that time.

The visual effects are pretty impressive.  You can tell that they were trying implement the Computer Graphics sparingly so as not to take the audience out of the experience.  The CG moments seem to only occur when they are trying to convey massive scope and perspective.  They even go so far as to use life like practical effects! That’s pretty rare these days.  There is a moment where they show a character with severe frost bite on his hands and I’ll be honest it made me a bit nauseous, and I LOVE horror movies!  The makeup effects were just that well done and subtle that it truly evokes a visceral reaction.


The film, which is based on true events, follows the story of Rob Hall, played by Jason Clarke, who is the co-owner of a commercial expedition tour called “Adventure Consultants.”  It is set in the mid nineties and at this point there are established tour companies that attempt to guide small groups to the summit of Mount Everest.  I say attempt because most usually end up having to be taken back down due to severe medical reasons or intense weather.  Even though there are ropes and ladders set up, there are still lethal conditions such as below freezing temperatures, a constantly shifting landscape to the point of avalanche, bottomless crevasses, and air so thin you need dozens of Oxygen tanks just to exist, much less climb. There is a scene in the trailer where the character Rob is briefing his team/costumers about the dangers of the expedition.  He says that at a certain point near the summit our bodies will literally be dying.  Human beings are not made to survive at the cruising altitude of a 747 Airplane.


As is the case for most survival movies, Everest has a fairly simple plot.  But where it lacks in complexity it totally makes up for it in the gripping performances of every single actor.  Even Sam Worthington has a couple moments that make you forget his usual generic Australian persona.  Speaking of generic personas, every character with an accent is portrayed in a somewhat cartoonish fashion.  The Texas guy thinks he’s the toughest in all these parts, the Russian guy loves his vodka while singing the songs of his homeland, and the Australians seem to be fighting the urge to say G’day.  But again, you forget these silly moments when the film starts to explore the characters and the true reasons they each have for risking their lives for the sake of a grand story to tell.  

Now going into this film I did NOT think that I would be in for anything more than just a superficial action flick.  However, there are genuine heartfelt moments that actually made me tear up a bit!  They actually take some time for you to get to know the characters in a way that would usually seem forced and slow things down. But instead they endear you to them in a way that actually makes you think climbing Everest, despite it’s dangers, could be a worthwhile endeavor.


Just to give you another idea of how dangerous Mount Everest is, without spoiling anything, there is a point where they realize that even the Military with all it’s resources will have a hard time even attempting to rescue them.  The biggest difference between this and other survival flicks is that the threat isn’t caused by some mechanical failure or nefarious intention, but rather it is good ‘ol mother nature herself simply telling us, “Hey, you guys REALLY shouldn’t be up here!”



Writer, Musician, Composer, Singer and Dancer. To sum up: I like to get jiggy with it!

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