Everest 3D Blu-ray Review
It’s strange, but somehow a star-studded movie about people climbing Mt. Everest turned out to be boring. But I guess that’s what you get when you tell a story about a group of people preparing and planning for a mountain climbing trip and then watch as they climb up the mountain and freeze to death. This isn’t CLIFFHANGER where a hero has to stop a bunch of bad guys or even VERTICAL LIMIT where climbers get stuck and some heroes have to go on a rescue mission. Nope, this is just a bunch of climbers being really, really cold.
Climbing Mt. Everest has turned into a commercial venture, featuring experienced mountain climbers that lead groups of regular people up the mountain for a nominal fee. One such climber is Rob Hall (Clarke), who is leading a group of mostly seasoned climbers up Everest. He has the cocky businessman, Beck (Brolin, the down on his luck nice guy, Doug (Hawkes), along with a slew of other people with varying degrees of ability. The first two acts of the film are spent getting to know Rob’s team, as well as a couple of other team leaders and following them as they prepare for the climb. The third act is watching as they deal with a last second storm that wreaks havoc on their descent.
EVEREST does a great job of immersing the viewer into the world of mountain climbing, specifically the act of climbing Mt. Everest. We get a good idea of the hard work and preparation it takes to even prepare for such a feat, let alone actually do it. But the problem when it comes to making an enjoyable movie is that nothing really happens. In that regard, EVEREST felt more like a documentary than a movie. I don’t necessarily need John Lithgow to show up and start shooting people, but some sort of arc or obstacle to overcome is necessary for a movie like this.
Technically speaking, EVEREST is an impressive film. I’m not sure there has ever been a film that opened up the world of mountain climbing the way EVEREST has and it’s hard to watch in the comfort of your living room without reaching for a blanket. Director Baltasar Kormakur cast a lot of A-list talent and everyone did well with what they had, even if they didn’t always have much to work with. After all, this isn’t a dialogue-heavy film. Kormakur also did a good job of making the film seem a lot more intense than it really was, especially if you already know the outcome (this is a true story, after all).
But even with some nice technical aspects, EVEREST is probably going to be a letdown to most people. The trailers sold the film as being a thrill ride, but it’s anything but exciting. People looking for good performances are also going to be disappointed because most of the film is watching the actors be really cold, so the script wasn’t much of a focus. In the end, EVEREST might just be for mountain climbing fans and people interested in the mountain itself.
EVEREST 3D BLU-RAY REVIEW
You would think a mountain climbing movie would be able to utilize some great 3D effects, but EVEREST missed a lot of opportunities to wow audiences. It’s clear Baltasar Kormakur wanted to tell an intimate story, but I really wanted some shots of the climbers looking out over Nepal or looking down at the base of the mountain; something to show off the 3D and make the film a little more exciting.
Video: The 2D transfer was just as nice as the 3D transfer.
Audio: The audio was fine.
Commentary with Baltasar Kormakur: The movie turned out like it did (for better or worse) because Kormakur had a passionate connection to the survivors and what everyone went through. That came through loud and clear on this very impressive commentary.
Race to the Summit: The Making of Everest (11:00): For how long it is, this is a decent making-of featurette that shows some of the challenges the filmmakers went through.
Learning to Climb (4:41): The cast talk about what they went through in preparing for and actually shooting the film.
A Mountain of Work (5:12): This looks at the set pieces they built as a stand-in for Everest.
Aspiring to Authenticity: The Real Story (6:47): This was the best feature and it’s not even 7 minutes long. I really wanted more from the survivors and the loved ones, but this is better than nothing.