Based on the bestselling book ‘Into Thin Air’ by Jon Krakauer (which I own and read many years ago), this is one story about the 1996 Mount Everest Disaster where 8 people lost their lives attempting to summit the great mountain. Reaching the summit of Mount Everest is still the ultimate goal for any mountain climber but it remains a fact that 25% of climbers will lose their lives to the mountain….and yet none of this matters to those seeking to stand on top of the world.
There is only a small window of opportunity to summit Everest and with the increase in the number of guided tours, there is increasing pressure for these tour guides to ‘deliver’…….that is, for each person who has paid the very expensive fee to actually reach the summit. This aspect of the Everest business if not glossed over in this movie and is addressed many times by many of the characters.
This movie is the story of a few tour guide operators, their support teams, their paying customers, Mount Everest and the ruler of them all…… the weather.
Obviously, this is a well-known story and we all know it doesn’t end well for everyone. The weather is always temperamental and at any given moment, a serene, calm day can turn nasty and dangerous. This is what happened on 10 – 11 May 1996 as the weather turned bad with the mountain crammed full of climbers all wanting to get to the top with very, very limited options and very limited time frames. It was chaos.
I loved this movie. I loved the technical aspects of the climbing Mount Everest and the drama. I loved the Aussie boys (Clarke and Worthington….with accents intact YAY!!) and I loved Michael Kelly (if you don’t watch House of Cards on Netflix, get over there now!). I liked the tension and the push and pull between common sense, duty of care for customers and fulfilling dreams.
I suppose I shouldn’t sound too keen because this is the story of real people who lost their lives. This movie does a great job of giving us a damn good movie and still honouring their memories. I know there was some slight fabrications to the story but what a story it was.
I will be buying this on Blu-Ray when the time comes. Fantastic movie.
(As a side note, I understand changes are currently being implemented by the Nepalese government to keep tighter control on the mountain and those who climb her. Not before time either)
4 1/2 stars
Love Flick xx
Director : Baltasar Kormakur
Starring : Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Martin Henderson, Tom Goodman-Hill, Josh Brolin, Michael Kelly, Emily Watson, Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington, Robin Wright
Running Time : 121 minutes
Release Date : In Cinemas Now