“Human beings are not meant to survive at the cruising altitude of a 747.”
These words were spoken in the opening scenes of “Everest,” by Rob Hall (Jason Clarke, “Zero Dark Thirty), a character who works as the owner of Adventure Consultants. Directed by Baltasar Kormakur, the docudrama leaves the audience white-knuckled while following the harrowing tale of the climbers who attempt to prove Hall wrong.
The film pays homage to the deadliest year in Mount Everest’s history, 1996. The first hour of “Everest” follows Doug Hansen (John Hawkes, “The Sessions”), Beck Weathers (Josh Brolin, “No Country for Old Men”), Jon Krakauer (Michael Kelly, “House of Cards”) and the rest of the Adventure Consultants team in their preparations for summiting the mountain. With a slew of other characters, viewers may have difficulty keeping all the names and faces straight, but the scenery and landscape almost make up for this issue with incredible shots of nature’s most revered landscape.
“Everest” takes human versus nature to new heights. The film may appear overly poignant and harsh but it’s based on true events. Eight people died on May 10 and 11 in 1996, and 12 people died throughout the mountaineering season.
The second half of the movie brings stressful and merciless scenes to both the audience and the characters. The tension built into the first half of the film comes to a head as the characters continue their quest.
Murphy’s Law—the phenomenon that anything that can go wrong, will—plays out like never before in the final half of the movie. And while freezing to death does not provide the drama of gunfights and car chases, Kormakur has created a painfully realistic portrayal of the life and death struggle the climbers faced.
“Everest" is an honest portrayal of adventure, the pursuit of glory and tragic loss. The film will keep viewers on the edge of their seats and wondering why people risk it all to reach to the top of the world. “Everest” is a must see for those who desire to watch a group of people conquer one of the most infamous mountains in the world.
“Everest” (PG-13, 122 mins) is now playing at Regal Majestic.