“Everest” tells the true story of a group of mountain climbers who were caught in a severe storm while trying to reach the summit. The film centers on the real-life climber and guide Rob Hall, played by Jason Clarke, who led a group on the mountain in the mid-1990s.
Other true to life characters in the film are portrayed by Josh Brolin, Jake Gyllenhaal, John Hawkes and Sam Worthington. The film follows these characters as they prepare for the climb and the eventual storm that arrives when they take on the endeavor.
“Everest” certainly starts off with some promise by showing off great visuals and having a strong first act to get things situated. Once the actual climbing starts, though, the movie begins to stumble.
The reason for the film’s shortcomings in the final hour and a half are mainly because of the its lack of strong emotion. The main characters are caught in a horrific storm and there is a fight for survival, however, many of them remain one dimensional throughout the picture which makes it difficult as an audience to care about what’s going on.
The movie sticks true to the tragedy that happened to the climbers on Mount Everest and it’s certainly sad to see what happens to some of the characters who were fighting to make it out with their lives. However, while “Everest” certainly made me feel sad about the disaster in 1996, it didn’t leave me with much else.
There were many characters in the film, and yet the second and third acts do little to explore the depth of why these people went on the climb and what they really wanted out of the experience. Josh Brolin’s character, for example, brings up an issue of depression, which climbing helps him avoid, however, it’s only brought up once.
From the time the peril starts in “Everest” to the point it ends, there just isn’t enough reflection on the characters, the ideal of climbing the mountain or anything in between. The ending of the film also has very little in discussing the aftermath of the whole disaster.
It’s a shame that the characters, and the dialogue they exchange, was rather weak because the cast was loaded with talent. Having Jason Clarke, Jake Gyllenhaal and Josh Brolin all on screen should have been a slam dunk, but they simply didn’t have much to do.
As stated earlier, the visuals in the movie are well done. The technical aspects of “Everest” are probably its strongest card it has to play since the rest of the movie lacks substance.
Can “Everest” give an audience some thrills? Sure. There are some tense moments here and there and it certainly is a good film to look at. The film still benefits from having a lot of talented actors and actresses headlining it, too. It heavily suffers, though, from its lack of characterization which leads to a less than compelling dramatization of this true story. 2 out of 5.