Saturday 26 September 2015

Review: Everest (2015)

We managed to get together the other Friday night for an actual night out! These nights are very rare, in fact the last proper night out we had might have been just before Christmas last year. With bellies full of amazing American-style food and cocktails at Birmingham’s Smoke Rubhouse (my cocktail was far from amazing, it has the taste and consistency of vomit...yak!!), and 2 hours spent watching the harrowing movie Everest, we ended our night curled on the sofa watching Family Guy! Real party animals, we are! You're lucky I made it to the cinema after that cocktail!


Everest was Jenna’s most anticipated movie for September and although I’d heard little about it the cast and the real-life story was enough to sell it to me. Plus, we got to see it in IMAX which is always a bonus!  I have now seen this twice (my Dad was desperate to see it and I couldn't let him go alone) and I thought I might be bored the second time but far from it!

It’s based on the real life story of the expedition teams climbing Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth in 1996. on May 10th, the teams start their final ascent to the summit, after finding a window of opportunity in between the bad weather. A horrendous storm approaches the climbers without warning, and their expedition rapidly turns into a fight for survival as the conditions get worse.

My first thought whilst watching Everest was how quickly it got into gear. There was a brief introduction to the main characters, and very soon after we were already in Nepal at Base Camp, and found out more about each character as they went on with their trek. Too often I find myself bored with the introductions so this was perfect for me, especially with such a large cast. There are some brilliant names here, Jason Clarke, Emily Watson, Sam Worthington, Josh Brolin, Jake Gyllenhaal and Keira Knightley to name just a few!  My biggest criticism of this film (and personally I found it hard to find any) was the fact that is was ensemble, I wanted to get to know the characters and their relationships more, especially as it was a true story.  There just wasn't enough time to delve into each character and tell the story it was trying to tell.

The IMAX was just the icing on the cake of Everest. I’m sure there’s an icing joke to be made here, but my funny bone just isn’t tingling right now - argh I can't think of anything clever!!. When the storm hit, I could literally feel it through the power of sound. How weird is that? It’s not that it was overly loud or anything, it just felt like the air around us vibrated in some way. This is definitely the way to experience this film, I just don’t think it would translate as well on your home TV.

I can't really explain my feelings towards this film, I want to say I loved it because I was completely engrossed throughout but I feel like saying you love something that was so devastating and true feels a bit off.  I think the story was told well (I may change this statement when I've read 60 different books on the subject!).  The whole thing really stuck with me after it finished, I couldn't forget about the characters nor the sheer determination and pain it takes to summit Everest, I don't think I ever really thought about it before!!

The IMAX, what can I say about that, I don't think you can truly experience this film without IMAX.  The ladder scene where Beck Weathers (Josh Brolin) topples and is hanging precariously over a terrifying chasm, the camera shoots downwards and its terrifying, I was on the edge of my seat!  The sheer volume and giant screen make you feel like you are there (all they need is a good snow machine and aircon and it could be 4D!).

I knew nothing about the real life story, neither have I read Into Thin Air, so I had no idea what would happen, and if you haven’t either, I won’t ruin anything explicitly for you, but you might want to skip the rest of this paragraph. There’s definitely a sense of ‘real life’ to Everest in the sense that it was entirely realistic. That sounds stupid I know, of course it’s realistic, but in the movies the characters always seem to defy all odds and even in worst case scenarios there’s some sort of happy outcome, which just wasn’t the case.  I have since downloaded every book I can find on this disaster because I just want to know more about these people, who they were and what happened on the mountain.  It's fair to say that I can get a little obsessive over some things and this is one of them, I can't stop thinking about the film and I'm desperate to know more.


Everest was exhausting and mind-blowing at the same time, and I’m really glad Jenna chose it for us to watch!

I watched the whole film tensed upright in my seat and I found myself exactly the same the second time round.  If you don't care about the story, go and see it for the visuals, they are truly stunning!


  1. Nice review! I enjoyed this one too. Though I think I would've liked it even more if I saw it in IMAX! Still, I thought it was really compelling and intense.

    1. Thanks Alex :) I think IMAX made it just that little bit better when we saw it, but it's an intense movie anyway!
      - Allie