This spectacular movie follows Robert Edwin Hall (Jason Clarke), who in May 1996, started his final ascent towards the summit of Mount Everest – the highest point on Earth – with his team in tow. When they find themselves faced with challenging weather conditions, however, his team must join forces with Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal) and his crew to ensure they have a better chance of survival in the hazardous and potentially deadly circumstances put to them. It’s worth noting that this review was based solely on the movie I watched at the time and not the true story it was based off.
Director: Baltasar Kormakur
Writers: William Nicholson, Simon Beaufoy
Starring: Jason Clarke, Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, Michael Kelly, Keira Knightley
It has to be said that I definitely had a misconception about this movie beforehand, I anticipated a much more action-based thriller than what actually transcribed in the end. Everest began as much more of a slow burner but at the same time, as a viewer, you definitely had the feeling that something big was capable of happening at any given time. To the filmmaker’s credit, they did a superb job of building this tension and telling the entire story of the expedition teams climbing the mountain and some of their reasons for doing so too – despite the fact that the film contained such a large and thorough cast.
The film on a whole was beautifully shot and there were some spectacular visuals throughout. You definitely had the feeling that the filmmakers opted not to throw in too many unnecessary “blockbuster” style moments and they did well on focusing primarily on the story telling, drama and suspense that unfolded.
As a viewer, you felt like you was taken on a journey and you felt every moment of pain and torture that many of the characters went through, whether they were the characters navigating Everest or characters back home in safety, only hearing about their loved ones via telephone. Some of the more dramatic and emotional moments during the flick will certainly leave you with a lump in your throat – I know they did me.
As touched on, the movie contained such a large, varied and talented cast, lead primarily by Jason Clarke who did a really good job of portraying the New Zealander, Rob Hall. Jake Gyllenhaal played the more laid back and relaxed explorer, Scott Fischer and did well given the limited screen time he had. Elsewhere, Josh Brolin adopted the role of Beck Weathers and Michael Kelly appeared as a reporter named Jon Krakauer.
Another thing worth noting was the rather surprising performance of Keira Knightley (who portrayed Rob Hall’s wife, Jan Hall). She somehow put in a terrific performance despite rarely being on camera other than when she was filmed talking over the telephone to her husband. A bizarre role but as noted, pulled off well by the actress.
Overall, a really good emotional roller coaster without the over-the-top sensationalism that many films of this nature would bring to the table. Couple with the spectacular visuals and really impressive cast, this is most certainly one to watch on Netflix.
“You know what they say, man. It’s not the altitude, it’s the attitude.”Scott Fischer – Everest