deconstructing trailers: EVEREST

3D IMAX Mountain Climbing!

That’s the hook. And it’s not just any mountain. It’s mother flickin’ EVEREST.

Here comes a real disaster movie based on the true story of the adversity two teams of climbers faced on their expedition.

Everest is the most deadly mountain in history. Climbers know there’s a good chance they won’t survive.

This perilous adventure movie is sure to be filled with heart-stopping adrenaline-fueled action sequences orchestrated by a visually striking director (Baltasar Kormakur – CONTRABAND) .

The trailer perfectly conveys all the dangers of climbing Mount Everest. The scariest fact mentioned was how your body is literally dying the entire time you’re up there. The stakes couldn’t get much higher for our heroes…until it does.

The adventure takes a turn for the worst when one of the craziest storms ever hits Everest.

Our climbers will encounter a variety of epic obstacles created by the ultimate antagonist: Mother Nature.

JAKE GYLLENHAAL (DONNIE DARKO, ENEMY, PRISONERS) is the biggest name actor appearing in EVEREST. Gyllenhaal has been on quite the streak lately.

N I G H T C R A W L E R

He got violently snubbed for NIGHTCRAWLER, where he portrayed an emaciated psychotic parasitic vulture. He gained tons of muscle for the coming soon SOUTHPAW. And now he gains tons of beard to portray a rugged mountain climber.

The best part about Gyllenhaal’s work lately is it combines heavy character exploration alongside exciting and daring stories.

That said…

Gyllenhaal isn’t the only highlight in EVEREST. He has a strong supporting cast of climbers including the likes of JOSH BROLIN (OLDBOY, INHERENT VICE), JOHN HAWKES (one of my favourite actors – THE SESSIONS, WINTER’S BONE, DEADWOOD). and SAM WORTHINGTON (AVATAR, CLASH OF THE TITANS).

From the trailer it appears like our main character could be JASON CLARKE (DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, ZERO DARK THIRTY). It’s unclear if anyone will survive this trek, but our money is on Clarke.

We also get a look into his family life. By acknowledging this factor, EVEREST has a chance to be a really emotional adventure with severe consequences. 

The storyline looks to be balanced between the mountain and back home. KIERA KNIGHTLEY (THE IMITATION GAME, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN), ROBIN WRIGHT (HOUSE OF CARDS, ADORE) and EMILY WATSON (BREAKING THE WAVES, PUNCHDRUNK LOVE) round out the strong cast.

Thankfully, there is a multi-dimensional approach to the story, like THE PERFECT STORM. We’ll know the base-camp team supporting them and what’s waiting back home for them. By focusing on character we will be more invested in their survival.

I love it when a movie like this has a good set-up. The intensity weighs on the audience so much more when we care about our characters.

While it’s hard to set aside our anticipation for the disaster scenes, it’s worth the wait if we have solid character build-up. There’s nothing worse than sitting through all the boring parts (ie: bad character development) of a Roland Emmerich disaster flick.

The compelling ensemble cast essentially ensures successful character development. We shouldn’t have a problem feeling empathetic to both the family back home and the adventurers.

By mixing drama with all the crazy stunt-work and tension filled action sequences, EVEREST has a chance to be one of the best disaster movies ever, and perhaps one of the best movies of the year.

Adventure films aren’t usually focused on realism. Here we have a scenario that actually happened. There is no 2012 Mayan End of the World conspiracy or a frozen over Earth.

EVEREST is real stuff, not the stuff of dreams. This is humanity versus nature. This is the ambition of the human spirit – to conquer the impossible and inspire others… no matter the risk.

EVEREST blends the best of both worlds – drama and adventure. This epic true adventure premieres September 18th. Until then, it remains one of my most highly anticipated films this year.


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