Everest was one of my most anticipated films for 2015. The reason behind this is quite simple, like Southpaw, it stars one of my favourite actors Jake Gyllenhaal. I knew he wasn’t playing the main role but the idea of Gyllenhaal playing a character climbing Everest was too much not to be excited about. The other cast members such as Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin and Keira Knightly only increased my excitement.
Everest was an unexpectedly slow burner but instead of eventually lighting up instead it simply burnt out. There is so much build up to the actual hike, far too much in my opinion. I felt that the purpose of this was to allow for character development which I was glad to see was being taken seriously. However, I feel this never really reaches its full potential especially considering the amount of time that is devoted to it as I didn’t feel particularly attached to any of the characters. All of the performances here are solid, this was to be expected from a cast so talented. Jason Clarke stood out to me the most being so believable in his role as Rob Hall, a New Zealander expedition group leader. Although, I thought that the most interesting character was the one played by Gyllenhaal, Scott Fisher, another expedition leader. It’s just a shame that he gets hardly any screen time, there was much opportunity with his character for more.
For a film about one of the most exciting things on earth, climbing Everest, I found the whole thing to be quite dull and boring, there is no sense of achievement/excitement. The tension that the trailers and posters promised doesn’t show up until its too late. This should have been a spectacular looking film too but I was never impressed with what I saw, even spotting a set at one stage. I was expecting beautiful shots of the mountain and epic backdrops but these never came, I thought this was one aspect of the film that would be guaranteed to be powerful but it really wasn’t. There are emotional moments spread throughout the film however due to the flawed character development I never found them to be that effective. Saying that though somehow the emotional turns are actually very effective at the end of the film contrasting what had come before it and I have to say that I was very impressed by the likeness that the film achieved to certain real life moments from the story.
In my opinion Everest doesn’t really do justice to the story it’s trying to tell or to those involved. The film is void of any kind of excitement and the tension and epic nature of the climb never transpires. The performances are good and the attention to detail is nice but Everest was a massive disappointment failing to stand up to story telling on the big screen.
Rating – 5/10