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Review – Everest

Hold On To Your Butts!

Universal have played the box office this year, they fought off heavy hitters like Avengers Age Of Ultron and Terminator Genysis and managed to have a consistent stream of hits. Now that we are moving out of summer blockbuster season and into a somewhat of a “cinema slump” the studio have delivered another solid hit with an intense and and heart pounding thriller that had me on the edge of my seat for 90 solid minutes.

Everest is the true story of Rob Hall (Jason Clarke), a highly experienced climber who is leading a team of climbers to the top. The all star cast team consist of Jon Krakeur (Michael Kelly), Beck Wethers (Josh Brolin), Mailman (John Hawkes) and a fleeting appearance by Jake Gyllenhaal as rival guide Scott Fischer.

The first half of the film establishes the characters, their goals and the setup of base camp. The use of 3D effects help the mountain come alive and establish a real sense of danger that previous films of this genre have failed to capture so distinctly.

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Apart from the climbers on the mountain themselves, the film also flicks between the support staff at base camp and the family and friends at home. This had the potential to be a little disjointed, but director Baltasar Kormakur keeps things on the rails and provides a near seamless flow and manages to provide some relief from the films more intense moments before ramping it back up again.

Everest deals with death in the most cruel and unfair way, with the scenes hitting brutally hard with no sense of relief or time to mourn. If you are expecting a film along the lines of 127 Hours you may leave feeling a little disappointed, this tends to be more Vertical Limit. This is an extremely intense and uncomfortable experience and I found myself questioning it days after the screening, and even now I squirm just thinking of certain parts, which showed to me that the films desired effect worked.

This film is all about the experience of Everest, it puts us inside the movie, on that mountain, feeling the struggle of these characters while dealing with the crippling blow of a natural disaster that threatens their lives and that of their family and friends around them. Everest surprised me with its stunning visual effects and believable performances from all involved. Never before has a man vs nature film felt more real, more terrifying and more entertaining.

Everest is playing in cinemas across Australia now.

Review by Alaisdair Dewar

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