‘Everest’ in IMAX boasts strong cast, intense visuals

By Joe Ostrica

	There are no spoilers in saying “Everest” ends tragically for several key characters involved. The film is based on the true story of two expeditions that left May 10, 1996 to be a part of history in reaching the highest mountain in the world. Unfortunately, eight people died along the way. The new 3D film takes advantage of the IMAX technical tools (super loud sound, enormous screen) to put viewers on the mountain with the characters in honoring the fallen.
	Jason Clarke stars as Rob Hall, the leading guide for Adventure Consultants, which takes eight clients on the journey, including Beck Weathers (Josh Brolin) and Doug Hansen (John Hawkes). They are joined by Yasuko Namba (Naoko Mori), a climber that previously scaled six of the Seven Summits and was attempting to be the oldest woman to reach the top of Everest. 
	 Hall's group decides it will be wiser to travel in numbers, and joins along with competitors in the climbing industry, Mountain Madness, who is led by Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal). We see the group prepare for the climb first hand, seeing how difficult the climate is, how treacherous the weather can be, and more importantly, the scarcity of oxygen at such high altitudes. 
	   The screenplay by William Nicholson (“Gladiator”) and Simon Beaufoy (“Slumdog Millionaire,” “127 Hours”) may feel like its full of stock characters - the rah-rah Texan; the small-town mailman who feels like he needs to do the climb to have meaning in his life; the gung-ho show-off climbing expert, etc. - even if they are representations of real people. However, with actors like Brolin, Hawkes and Gyllenhaal on board, these thespians help flesh out these stereotypes as best as possible.
	There are some key female characters as well, including base camp manager Helen Wilton (Emily Watson) and Hall's pregnant wife who is waiting at home (Keira Knightley). Robin Wright also appears as Peach Weathers, wife of Beck. 
	Director Baltasar Kormakur does a great job of keeping the story moving, provides some intense sequences and still gives his actors and story key moments to showcase scenes to make these characters human. “Everest” is a film worthy of experiencing on the IMAX screens in all its loud, windy and dangerous glory. 

Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 2 hours, 1 min.
Grade: B

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