Reviews for Everest, Baltasar Kormákur’s movie, which opened the Venice Film Festival yesterday, are somewhat mixed. Many critics praise it highly, while others, especially The Guardian and the BBC, are less impressed.
The Hollywood Reporter praises Baltasar, commenting that “Everest, bigger and more complex than anything he's done before, vaults him into a new spot professionally.” The critic writes that Everest includes “multiple characters sufficiently humanized to create real concern for their fates, and an attention to realistic detail that gives the film texture. Universal should be able to add this one to its impressive list of 2015 box-office successes.”
Deadline highly praises the film: “This true story based on the ill-fated 1996 expeditions to the peak of the imposing Mount Everest has…been brought to life with stunning clarity by director Baltasar Kormakur in a movie tailor-made for the big-screen glory of Imax and 3D. In fact, I don’t think I have ever seen a movie better suited for these formats.”
Comingsoon.net rates Everest 8 out of 10: “Kormákur does his best to remain factually and technically accurate, while brilliantly building the tension necessary to keep the viewer invested in the story. The amazing vistas of the Himalayas really pop in the larger IMAX format and the 3D is extremely effective when the camera hovers over the climbers making their way across narrow ladders over chasms that seem miles deep.”
Forbes, also, has a very positive review: “What’s most refreshing about Everest is its matter-of-fact approach. Regardless of whether you know that the film is based on a true story and/or how that true story ended, the film itself takes a relatively objective approach to telling its tale.”
Variety’s critic is not quite as impressed: “Although hardly a peak achievement, Baltasar Kormakur's Himalayan epic is a properly grueling, strikingly unsentimental chronicle of the 1996 Mount Everest tragedy.”
The Guardian posts one of the most negative reviews, giving it two stars out of five: “Everest is a frustrating movie in many ways – despite some lurches and shocks, it doesn’t quite deliver the edge-of-your-seat thrills that many were hoping for, and all those moderately engaging characters mean that there is no centrally powerful character.”
BBC writes: “Marred by weak characterisation and a story that’s over as soon as it’s begun, Everest never gets beyond the foothills” and “If the view from the summit really was as anti-climactic as it appears in the film, I would have asked for my money back. Indeed, I was so detached from the horrors endured by the unlucky mountaineers that, instead of feeling scared for them, I was wondering why they had paid to come to Everest in the first place.”