Thursday, September 11, 2014

Movie Review: "Vertical Limit" (2000)

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Movie"Vertical Limit"
Director: Martin Campbell
Year: 2000
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 2 hours, 4 minutes

After a climbing accident resulting in the death of their father, Peter Garrett (Chris O'Donnell) and his sister Alice (Robin Tunney) have become estranged. She blames Peter for their father's death. They happen to meet up again a year later at the base camp of billionaire Elliot Vaughn (Bill Paxton); Alice is helping Vaughn climb K2, and Peter had been taking photos for National Geographic. After a shift in whether during the climb, an avalanche causes Alice, Vaughn, and another climbing partner to become trapped in a cave on the mountain. Peter assembles a group of climbers to brave K2 and save his sister and her companions. 

Didn't Bill Paxton learn anything from "Twister"?

This is not a good movie at all. When the opening scene has a terrible CGI/puppet bird combo flying across a majestically real mountain-scape, you know it's going to suck. Yes, we understand this movie was made in 2000, but that's no excuse. If you can't make something look real, JUST DON'T DO IT! The fake elements of the movie are just that, they look extremely fake. You can tell the difference between on-location scenes and sound stage scenes and it's quite obvious. The avalanches, fiery explosions, and bad fake snow falling directly on the actor's faces are all more examples of this awful imagery. The mountains themselves are pretty cool to look at, but if we wanted to see a movie about mountains, we'd just watch a documentary. At least that way, we wouldn't have to hear Chris O'Donnell's weird s-talking for 2 hours.

We know Martin Campbell, the director of this movie, is capable of making good one, after all, he directed "Casino Royale." But he has also made his fair share of crappy films, too. "Green Lantern" ring a bell to anybody?? It seems like this movie would be an adrenaline junkie's wet dream, but after all is said and done, it's a mediocre, poorly acted adventure film with way. too. much. falling. When you think of a really high mountain, how many ways do you think it could kill you? Falling is probably the #1, besides freezing weather. And thin oxygen. Or lack of oxygen. Or wild animals. Well, if you want to watch actors continuously fall over and over and over and over again, this is the one for you.

When we dive into the plot itself, once Alice and her team get trapped, there is a 6-person mission tasked with finding the other 3. Said mission is also carrying the most volatile explosive that we've ever heard of, where the slightest misstep with a soft, rubber-soled shoe could blow the entire group to kingdom come. Even too much sunlight agitates this explosive chemical! Beyond this seemingly dumb idea to risk more lives in an effort to save a lesser amount of lives, the script is riddled with cheesy one-liners, bad jokes, and unnecessary attacks towards the French. Seriously, guys? Freedom Fries were so, well, early 2000. And Chris O'Donnell. Damn, have we mentioned lately how much Chris O'Donnell sucks? Pack it up, dude.

When all was said and done, we wanted our 2 hours and 6 minutes back. Considering it's not really all that old, this film feels and is extremely dated and has not withstood the test of time. So many of these average movies get swept under the rug, never to be seen or watched again, and yet, for some reason, we feel compelled to watch it. We do it so you don't half to, folks! Bill Paxton will do that to you!

My Rating: 4/10
BigJ's Rating: 4.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 48%
Do we recommend this movie: No.
One year ago, we were watching: "Trouble with the Curve"

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