Everest – Solid as a rock

If you just want to know if Everest is worth a download a few months down the line then I would say it is a good, but not amazing, film. Recently there seems to have been an increasing number of popular films dramatizing history, with the release of films like The Iron Lady, The King’s Speech, The Imitation Game and Argo. Normally I would just say film producers are running out of ideas, but the fact that someone who has no interest in climbing managed to enjoy something that is essentially about going up and down a mountain is a testament to the actors, cinematography, and the emotional personal stories of Everest; especially when considering that much of the plot is predictable, even more so for those who can remember the events of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster (although the film doesn’t follow these events directly).

In reality eight people died on the peak, making it the highest number of deaths on Everest in one day. While I shan’t say who or how many people die in the film, Everest’s two and half hours still don’t leave us with much time to get to know all the characters, nor the families they will be leaving behind, and thus makes their deaths seem less dramatic. Perhaps I’m just cold though, as when the lights came up some people nearby were crying – maybe it was just a bad date.

Josh Brolin and Jake Gylenhaal make up part of the star-studded cast of Everest (Universal, 2015)

Josh Brolin and Jake Gylenhaal make up part of the star-studded cast of Everest (Universal, 2015)

Everest is littered with a number of high profile actors who really carry the film past its limited plot and few twists, making you root for all the characters to return from their pointless/heroic journey up a big cold hill. After liking the first two thirds of the film, following the ascent up Mount Everest, I was expecting a rushed, anti-climatic walk down, but was pleased to find the drama and feeling of tension really picked up. I hate to sound pretentious, but the cinematography is stunning and this is one of the few films that actually benefits from 3D.

However, like all 3D films, after about 10 minutes you have forgotten it’s in 3D, and then periodically have to take off your glasses to make yourself remember why you paid two extra pounds. I did enjoy Everest, but it successfully tells the story of needless deaths so it’s hard to really love. If you are looking for a guaranteed crowd pleaser that is simple enough for Grandma to follow and will make you feel inspired for no particular reason, but also sad, then I recommend this film. 7/10