‘Everest’ is Visually Exhilarting But the Climb is Slow
“Everest” is based on the true story of an expedition to the top of Mt. Everest. The journey is led by a team of experienced climbers who are accompanied by a less qualified group. The characters’ mix of experience and lack thereof creates a variety of elements that you may or may not enjoy about “Everest.”
Cinematics (Plot, Acting, Cinematography, etc.) – 3
“Everest” is a film that relies on its visuals. I had the chance to see “Everest” in IMAX 3D and this is a film that capitalizes on that medium. The cinematography and vivid imagery are so superior that they overshadow the plot, acting, and other cinematic elements. Through multiple angles and perspective shots, I felt like I was part of the experience and all of the moments of suspense.
While the visuals make the film, they can only carry “Everest” so far. There is an adequate amount of stagnant progression that is present throughout the film. With a plot that centers around isolated survival, the slow progress is no surprise. While visually pleasing, the climbs up and down Mt. Everest are sluggish despite being rigorous. There was definitely suspense regarding the fate of the characters but be prepared for a slow burn. Because of this the suspense fizzled out for me towards the end of the film as the straight-forward plot overstayed its welcome. The story was emotional and captivating, it just could have used a bit of a trim.
With the exception of the plot, there are some notable performances throughout “Everest.” Jason Clarke (Rob Hall) has gained more exposure over the years and as the film’s star he continues to climb. Despite sharing the screen with so many, Jason Clarke’s character has an emotional depth that shines. Other higher profile actors like Josh Brolin and Jake Gyllenhaal were adequate in their roles. They performed as expected but nothing particularly breakthrough even with Brolin’s character’s strenuous journey. This isn’t discrediting their abilities, they performed well but did not surpass their established acting benchmark. There were also a number of supporting actors that deserve recognition. John Hawkes and Emily Watson are reunited on screen once again and show that their passion for acting is still there.
The plot moved slow, the acting was overall adequate, and the character development might have been sliced a bit thin. But despite a few inadequacies, “Everest” is saved by its stunning visuals that are strong enough to carry the story alone.
Entertainment Value – 3
As far as entertainment goes, “Everest” is pretty balanced. Once again I will go to the visuals as the source of entertainment. I know it may sound redundant but it is the highlight of the film. I can’t speak to moviegoers seeing the film outside of IMAX 3D but “Everest” is the first film I’ve seen in awhile that makes 3D glasses not seem “gimmicky.”
Over half of the film relies on the visuals but outside of that there isn’t much as far as entertainment value goes. Without the enriching element of cinematography, the entertainment factor would be lower on the scale.
Rewatchability – 2.5
If you want to make use of your new 4K TV’s capabilities this may be a film to showcase when it’s released on digital formats. It’s definitely a film for eye candy but I don’t think it’s something you will rush back to the theater to see. And even if you do buy the film, I feel like it’s one of those that you will fast forward to the good parts.
Blu Ray Extras
The extras on this Blu Ray are plentiful and may even outweigh the film. The true story and visuals are what draw people to this film and the extras on this Blu-ray take things further by showing how “Everest” was made and correlating the film to the true story. It’s also a great film to have in your collection if you want to show off your 3D TV. Check out the unboxing below.
"Everest" will visually captivate audiences and make them feel as though their experiencing the journey as well. The trials and troubles the characters face are figuratively heightened by the intimidating mountain tops. Unfortunately once you hit the "peak," the film seems to taper off and the suspense tapers off as well.