Review: “Everest”

The rare film that thrives with the use of IMAX 3D

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Logan Peterson

“Everest” tells the unbelievable true story of the worst disaster ever to hit an expedition team on the famed summit.

The particular disaster occurred on May 11th, 1996, when a severe onslaught of snow storms struck two expedition teams, killing eight people. Up until 2014, it was the most fatal disaster ever to occur on Everest.

At the forefront of the film is Jason Clarke, who plays real-life professional climber Rob Hall, and was also at the forefront of commercializing expeditions of the infamous mountain at the time the film is set.

Rather than solely focus on Hall, screenwriters Simon Beaufoy and William Nicholson went about making the film an ensemble effort, focusing on several of the characters storylines. I found this to be a daring effort, and I respect their choice of trying to honor the legacy’s of many of the real people.

This included Jake Gyllenhaal as guide Scott Fischer, Josh Brolin as Texas businessman Beck Weathers, and Michael Kelly as the famous journalist Jon Krakauer.

The use of the large cast was important, albeit very confusing at times. It was hard to focus on which characters we were following, especially behind the haze of severe blizzards. Although, this was hardly an issue as the real draw of the film was the incredible visuals, sound, and sweeping cinematography.

Inside that IMAX theatre was the first time I truly felt immersed in a film. From the dusting of the snow, to the crackling of the ice right up against my ears, each moment they were making their treacherous journey up the mountain was pulse-pounding, unpredictable, and shocking.

Unlike Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity,” the photography featured a wide scope of the landscape, instead of the tediousness of confinement and claustrophobic camera angles. I found this gave the film a more natural feel that enhanced the experience.

I give large credit to cinematographer Salvatore Totino for his breathtaking work, while having to shoot through adverse conditions of high altitudes and unpredictable weather patterns. His work is an appropriate microcosm for the beast that is Mount Everest.

While the large cast is tedious at times, it doesn’t stop the emotional pull that their characters have on the audience at all times; not to mention the incredible visual effects and cinematography. A very pleasant surprise, indeed.

Grade: B