In 1996 a group of men and women decided to compete against each other to reach the top of Mt. Everest. Little did they know that it would not be the other people they compete against but rather the mountain. Many will hike this mountain trying to reach the top but not all will return to their friends and family.
As they begin in Lukla at 9,383 feet they move to Namette Bazaar at 12,000 feet with villagers and yak along their trails. Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) owns Adventure Consultants and works with a dependable staff including Helen Wilton (Emily Watson) his right arm woman and Guy Cotter (Sam Worthington), an expert climber. Also climbing along with some other groups is Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal), friend and competitor in a sense to Rob and his company. They travel to Tamboche Monastery at 12,600 feet and the view is breath-taking. Later making it to 16,000 feet and climbing to base camp at 17,600 feet where they are informed they must make several ascents to acclimatize their bodies for the big and final climb. For several in the group this expedition is not their first time but for some others it is. Many have left their loved ones behind with intent to return but for a few of these families they will be left without a husband, wife, sister, brother, father or mother. It is a chance they knew they were taking but after paying $65,000 for the best guide, Beck Weathers (Josh Brolin) amongst the others expected the very best.
Camp one 19,500 feet, camp two 23,000 feet, as they climb this stupendous yet unpredictable mountain these people use ladders and ropes to manage their way. It’s not until the course looks more challenging than usual does Rob and Scott decide to join forces making one bigger team. As they climb higher and higher facing cold, storms, ice, rocks, cliffs and danger with every step they take, some struggle yet some become more adaptable then they would have thought they could. 26,000 feet then reaching the balcony at 27,600 feet yet when they come upon the southeast ridge the guide ropes are missing some will turn back yet most continue on. Michael Groom (Thomas M. Wright), Doug Hansen (John Hawkes), Yasuko Namba (Naoko Mon) all continues forward knowing the reason why they choose to scale this monster mountain known as Everest. Yet sometimes no matter how experienced you may think you are one bad decision can cost you your life.
The film is breath-taking with regards to the IMAX 3D experience surrounding this incredible journey up Mt. Everest. The film has wonderful direction with a nice screenplay although as for the lack of dialogue the film relies more on thrills, scenery and some intense drama. Drama and emotions is this films box office winner but if word of mouth wants more special effects like dinosaurs or explosions used in such action films than the longevity of this movie could suffer. The one thing I would have enjoyed even more is to get more invested in some of the other characters lives beyond the mountain. We know that Rob is married to Jan (Keira Knightley) who is pregnant and Beck left his wife Peach (Robin Wright) and two children behind at home but it would have helped to become a bit more invested in their lives. All of the actors are nicely cast and bring so much to the plot of the story honoring the real life people portrayed in this incredible movie but it is Clarke and Gyllenhaal that make this so thrilling along with Brolin as well. This is surely the type of film to see on IMAX for sure. Written and enjoyed with 2.5 paws out of 4 by Jon Patch.