"Everest," the true-to-life drama of the disastrous Mount Everest expeditions in 1996, opens in theaters Sept. 25 and the 3-D epic is what one reviewer called "part IMAX nature documentary and part Hollywood disaster movie."
The beautiful mountain views were the best part of the movie, and Katie Rife of A.V. Club highly recommends
that viewers see it in IMAX whenever possible.
"The best argument in favor of what otherwise would be a pointlessly cruel loss of human life are the sweeping, heart-stoppingly beautiful mountain vistas," she wrote. "Beginning with a helicopter shot of tiny hikers crossing a flimsy rope bridge over a huge canyon, 'Everest' boasts a handful of spectacular shots that show how small the climbers really are, usually by panning from a team of struggling hikers to the vast, craggy expanses beneath them."
Despite the beauty, Rife wasn't in love with "Everest," writing that although the movie does a solid job of showing the preparation and skill needed to climb, it didn't adequately address why people are compelled to conquer the mountain.
Barry Paris of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette gave the movie three stars
, pointing to the amazing photography displayed in the movie like Rife did but also pointing out a lack of motive for the climb and focus on the disaster, rather than character-building.
"Trouble is, those climber-protagonists inevitably get short shrift. (And their Sherpa guides get even shorter shrift.) In many ways, it’s an old-fashioned disaster movie with a gallery of characters, some of whom are destined not to make it," Paris said. "Fusing three or four of them into composites might’ve made for clearer storytelling, but Mr. (director Baltasar) Kormakur sticks admirably close to the facts and to a crisp two-hour running time"
New York Times reviewer A.O. Scott said of the movie
, "In telling its terrible true story, 'Everest' gets stuck between celebrating the indomitability of the human spirit and reckoning with the awful consequences of hubris and bad luck . . . It aspires to something large and lofty, but in the end it’s a big pile of rocks, ice, and vain and valiant human effort."
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