Vertical Limit (2000)


“Don’t mind her. She’s French-Canadian. Some days she’s Canadian. Can be quite pleasant. Today she’s obviously French. ” – Skip

Number of Times Seen – Between 3-5 Times (Theater on 20 Feb 2001, video, DVD and 11 May 2017)

Brief Synopsis – After an avalanche traps a group of climbers on top of K2, a former climber must find a way to rescue his sister who is among the missing member of the team.

My Take on it – This is the kind of film that is really enjoyable to watch mainly due to the thrilling action scenes atop one of the highest points in the world.

Unfortunately, the plot itself is pretty ridiculous and to enjoy this film fully you must just look at the spectacular scenery and action shots.

Chris O’Donnell was definitely an interesting choice as the hero of this film, but when compared to the eclectic characters used for the rest of the cast, he still seems the best choice to lead it all.

The supporting characters are pretty fun to watch because each have their own peculiarities yet still remain interesting to watch.

Bill Paxton stands out among them all as the Billionaire funding the expedition.

Bottom Line – This is a fun yet ridiculous film about a rescue mission atop one of the highest points in the world. The thrilling action sequences work if you discard the plot. O’Donnell is an interesting choice as the hero but is helped along by the eclectic range of supporting charcters. Paxton stands out as the billionaire funding the expedition.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The toeless feet of character “Montgomery Wick” seen at the beginning of the film actually belong to mountaineer Mark Whetu, who lost his toes while spending a night outdoors above 28,000 feet during a 1994 attempt on Everest. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy

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2 thoughts on “Vertical Limit (2000)

  1. I agree with Rob that some of the subplots in this movie get a bit potboiler and out there, but the mountain sequences – and the rescue scenes are phenomenal. It has one of the best opening sequences I’ve ever seen. Sets up 2 of the main characters (brother and sister) when a climbing expedition goes horribly wrong and a sacrifice is made that reverberates forward, affecting their relationship and all that follows. It is stunningly shot – culminating in a wordless, sound-free shot that will take your breath away. The only thing I would add – and there is nothing you can do about it now – is having seen the movie the first time during it’s original theatrical release (and a few times since on DVD on a big TV) – there is really no way to grasp how impressive this looks on a big screen. Watching it on TV – you lose the majesty of the snowy peaks as well as the thundering sound and the heart-pounding adrenalin rush of rescue helicopters caught in downdrafts and thin air, barely enough at high altitude to keep them aloft. Or a pulse-pounding sequence of leaking nitroglycerine exposed to the sun. Still a terrific lot of fun, but just not the same. If you’ve never seen it, you won’t know what you’re missing – so watch it anyway.

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