This movie literally depicted my worst nightmare. Everything was cold and wet, and the wind was just blowing the coldness and wetness around while everyone was carrying really heavy bags and occasionally just dropping off the mountain to their death. It’s based on the 1996 Mt. Everest disaster; Jason Clarke, Jake Gyllenhaal (in his second groundbreaking mountain expedition), et al. are trying to summit Mt. Everest in the midst of an impending storm.
Jon Krakauer makes an appearance, played by his doppleganger Michael Kelly, but the movie isn’t based on Into Thin Air, the book Krakauer wrote about the expedition (he also wrote Into the Wild). Apparently there are conflicting reports about what happened on the mountain. On a related note, Keira Knightley drops her British accent and I felt betrayed by this.
It’s hard to criticize the story on this one, not just because it’s based on a true story, but because it was SO GOOD. There was a perfect balance between drama and adventure. Coming into it, I had no idea the whole Mt. Everest climbing situation was so structured/commercialized, so the whole thing was a foreign concept for me. I also didn’t know that once you get going from the camp (after your altitude training), you can reach the summit in like a day. I pictured it being like a month-long journey to the top. The good news is that, after watching Everest, I feel like I personally climbed Mt. Everest, minus the windburn and frozen snot, so now I don’t ever have to experience it. Maybe I should’ve given the movie five stars.
Basically this is a one-man show about Matt Damon being abandoned by his space crew, then fucking around on Mars for a few months (years? I can’t remember) until NASA gets its shit together and rescues him. He lives off potatoes that he grows in his own shit and vlogs to no one to pass the time, which is lucky for us because otherwise there would be no dialogue.
There is no way in hell this would’ve worked out in real life. There were way too many opportunities for things to go wrong and there is no way that so many people and technologies
and the U.S. and China could cooperate long enough to save this guy. But maybe I should be more open-minded.
All implausibilities aside, I feel like this movie would’ve been better if Matt Damon had someone to come home to…a wife or a kid or even a parent. I really didn’t feel like it mattered if he died, because he didn’t have a family waiting for him. Maybe I’m undervaluing his life though. I guess single, lonely people matter too.
Kristen Wiig had my dream job in this movie…she was the public relations person for NASA, but seeing her in a “serious” role was an out-of-body experience. On the positive side, Kate Mara was there and she is a perfect human being. Also, the mean guy from National Treasure was there!
Long story short: stay on earth.