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October 24, 2018

Everest (2015) --- “It’s Both Stunningly Beautiful And The Most Dangerous Place On Earth. The Last Word Belongs To The Mountain.”

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     Named after Sir George Everest and standing as 29,017 ft, Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world. Above 26,000ft it is known as the death zone but most deaths don’t occur until after summiting but that is not the only challenge the mountain presents. With varying levels of ice, a peak in the stratosphere, air-pressure a 1/3 that of sea-level, and winds that can reduce the already thinning oxygen by 14% it is no wonder why Everest is one of the hardest climbs in the world. Not even the 7-10 day window of lighter winds in the Spring and Fall make the climb easier.
     Everest (2015) is set in May of 1996 and tells the true story of rival adventure guide companies, Adventure Consultants led by Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) and Mountain Madness led by Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal), as they each organize fee-paying climbing trips for clients to Mt. Everest’s summit. Although the guides help the climbers get to the top, their primary job is to get them down safely but when a ravaging storm hits the mountain while most of the climbers reach the top the descent becomes unimaginably treacherous.

     Everest (2015) is as majestic and stunning as Mt. Everest itself and the story takes you on a breathtaking experience as it follows real people battle the forces of nature more than 29,000 ft above sea-level. Director Baltasar Kormakur (Adrift) and writers William Nicholson (Unbroken and Breath) and Simon Beaufoy (127 Hours) did an incredible job with respecting this film’s context. They respected the story, the harsh nature of Mt. Everest, and the memories of those who lost their lives during that tragic expedition on the 10th of May of 1996.
     Director Baltasar is an Icelandic filmmaker who is familiar with shooting a film in unpredictable weather and he does the same thing here. Rather than rely only on a studio set and visual effects, Baltasar and crew use Nepal, Italy, and other locations for the film. By using outdoor locations and natural elements forces the actors to leave their comfort zone and it is evident in every scene. The film also makes the audience feel like we’re there on the mountain. We feel the danger as they climb the mountain and we feel the pain that comes with excruciating cold temperatures.
     The cast gave superb performances. Jason Clarke (Terminator Genisys) and Jake Gyllenhaal (Source Code) are convincing and fully-rounded characters as Rob Hall and Scott Fisher. Josh Brolin (Avengers: Infinity War) as Beck Weathers and John Hawkes (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) as Doug Hansen gave outstanding performance filled with emotion. The rest of the cast – Keira Knightley, Emily Watson, Sam Worthington, Elizabeth DebickiRobin Wright, Ingvar Eggert Sigurdsson, Michael Kelly, and many more – gave phenomenal performances filled with heart, emotion, and realism. While there is a lot of competition between the rival companies and the climbers to see who can reach the summit first, there is also an atmosphere of life on the edge that is at the forefront throughout the film. One day you could be joking with someone or walking by another only to find out that one or both of them did not make it to the next day. They really understood the perilous circumstances that their characters faced.

     Overall, Everest (2015) is an engaging, stunning, magnificent film about the tragic 1996 expedition. The story will leave you on the edge of your seat and camera work and locations will make you feel the harshness of the cold climate. The characters are relatable and by the end of the film, you will probably be left in tears both happy and sad. This is an emotional rendering of a true story that is unlike any other survival film out there, and I highly recommend it.

"Something beyond the power of words to describe. Everest is another beast altogether"
- Rob Hall

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  8.2 of 10 star
Worth Buying:  8.2 of 10 stars

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Adrift (2018)
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The Mountain Between Us (2017)
Primeval (2007)
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The Walk (2015)

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