“Everest” follows the 1996 trek up Mount Everest with the story surrounding Rob Hall, a New Zealand mountaineer on his fifth summit up the mountain, and Scott Fischer’s climbing groups. This happened between the months of April and May, in which there were a total of 20 separate climbing groups struggling to reach the top.
It is also based on the non-fiction book “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer, which is about his experience climbing Mount Everest. The movie is squirm-in-your-seat worthy but acrophobics beware when the climbers finally reach Hillary Step.
The peak reaches 29,035 feet and takes weeks to even attempt to reach the point. With most events shot on site at South Base Camp and Kathmandu, Nepal, the film did a good job in teaching the audience about the treks up the mountain and showed the rituals performed by the monks and Sherpa’s for the climbers’ protection.
Released a week early only in IMAX 3D, the extra money was worth it to feel somewhat of a real-life experience of the grueling trek up the mountain and allowed full immersion into the film. The scenery was fantastic, and the CGI wasn’t distinguishable with the real images. The cinematography is impressive and director Baltasar Kormákur captured the film’s beauty and how in just minutes the clear sky at the top can turn into a violent storm that takes so many lives in what’s known as the “death-zone.”
For time reasons perhaps, not enough background for the supporting characters was given so it was unclear at times who was who in the storm and to feel empathy in their struggles up and down the peak. With a 70 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating, the film didn’t note Rob Hall’s record of 39 clients taken up and down the summit but still focused on the struggle to get back down the mountain.
The well-known cast is immense bringing in Jason Clarke (“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”) as the kindhearted Rob Hall, lead guide of “Adventure Consultants” Josh Brolin (“Sicario” and “True Grit”) as Texan Beck Weathers, who suffered extreme frostbite, Emily Watson (“War Horse”) as Helen Wilton, the base camp leader and Sam Worthington (“Avatar”) as Guy Cotter.
Smaller parts for Rob Hall and Beck Weathers’s wives were given to notable actress’s Keira Knightley (“The Imitation Game”) as Jan Arnold and Robin Wright (“House of Cards”) as Peach Weathers. Jan was pregnant at the time so the film based solely on her conversations with Rob on the mountain. This made the audience feel her pain and the groups’ sadness when the radio connection was lost for the last time.
The tragedy spawned several adaptions to both the small and big screen added in the tributes to the fallen climbers and their group photo.
Nearing the 10th anniversary of the event, “Everest” is a life-changing look at how some people will suffer so much in order to be on top of the world.