HBO On Demand – Everest

Everest – B

So last year a movie I had to admit, I saw the poster for this but saw no trailer or tv spots.  I already knew a little about the true story of those unfortunate events 20 years ago.  So in comes 2016 and Everest is released on home platforms and I decide to watch it.  It was a great two hours I lost that day.  This might be the best movie I have scene where the stars are all played by some of the best character actors we have today.  The biggest name on the billing, she subtly plays a small but emotional role.  From what I could tell most of the effects were practical and even when CGI was used, mainly for scenery purposes, it did not take me out of the movie.  That is good because a lot of times on home video, CGI can really become weak to the eye than it was in a theater.

It is 1996.  Everest in recent years has become busier than ever with guid companies offering an escort to the summit for upwards of $60k.  Most are experienced climbers and some are just amateur ones looking for the thrill.  Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) has become the go to guide company.  For this trek he will be taking Doug, a U.S. Postman, Beck (Josh Brolin), an arrogant Texan, Jon Krakauer (Michael Kelley) from Outside Magazine, and Yasuko Namba, one of the low number of women looking to climb all of the “Seven Summits”.

Also on the mountain will be a group from South Africa whose team leader is not a team player and a group led by American Scott Fischer ( Jake Gyllenhaal).  Fischer is a free caring, high-octane filled soul who looks more in place in the 60’s than he does in the 90’s.

As the teams spend the next few weeks at Base Camp adjusting to altitude, on one of their practice treks Hall and Fischer are seeing the potential dangers they are going to run into with mountain being so busy this year.  A meeting is called amongst the other team leaders as Hall and Fischer attempt to schedule the climbs to make it safer and not create a log jam in case of bad weather.  The South Africans walk out in protest, as they still believe that in this day, even after many have already scaled the top of Everest that they should be able to get there first.  With the money being spent by the climbers they feel obligated to get their clients up to the top.  Weather conditions don’t mean a thing because next year if you cannot guarantee a summit, new or returning climbers are going to go with another group and that hurts the bottom line.

Hall, Fischer, and a few other groups all agree to stagger their climbs. Hall and Fischer after a few more days have even agreed to team up to keep the traffic low.  Throughout the next few days, a few climbers will have to give up their dream as they are unable to acclimate to the conditions of high altitude.  Others have their fears and doubts set in after many days of treks to get to the next camp.

Helen, the base camp operator, has informed Rob of a potential storm that could come in on April 11th.  They day before they have already suffered through one nasty storm that came in out of nowhere.  Around midnight leading into the 11th, the skies are clear and the teams start their ascent to the summit, with the idea they will hit the 2pm turn around time, giving them time to spare in case of a new storm.

This is a true story, so it is not a spoiler if I say what happens, I know this.  That though is never the intention of this blog.  If you want a movie that will make you feel and cause a few tears, Everest offers this.  Right now this is featured on HBO GO.  I watched for the second time yesterday and thought I should post about it because it is an enjoyable film.  It isn’t over done as sometimes these true life stories can be.  It honored the climbers, especially those who lost their lives that day.  It does not demonize anyone for their choices because the one part of the movie where you think Hall makes a bad decision, those people don’t know or have the climbers mentality.  Also the storm that came in would have still affected the group regardless of any other actions Hall took.

 

 

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