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3.9 out of 5 stars15
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 8 July 2010
Loved it. Have watched it several times and it's a film I'll watch again. I know that it's not 100% realistic. I know that it's somewhat cliched. However, for armchair mountaineers like myself it's great escapism.
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This is essentially a buddy movie clothed in mountaineering garb. It is a story about two climbers: one, a Seattle based attorney, the other, a physics instructor. They are a mismatched pair of friends who are brought together because of their love for climbing. The story line is about the ultimate test that their friendship endures while high on K2, the second highest mountain in the world but the most perilous to climb.
The rock climbing scenes that take place in the first fifteen minutes of the movie are terrific to watch, even though they may not be technically correct. After all, it's a movie, not a documentary. The scenery is spectacular and the cinematography is excellent.
These friends decide to grab an opportunity to climb K2 with an expedition that lost two of its team members to an avalanche on Denali. The attorney has no problem going to K2, but the physics instructor leaves behind his weeping wife and child. Yet his friendship with the attorney and his own desire to climb K2 compel him to leave his distraught family.
There are a number of scenes in the movie that seem to be taken from real life. While on expedition to K2, the porters leave them stranded, refusing to go any further on the mountain, as they have portents of doom. They also want more money. One scene has the attorney burning rupees in defiance of the porters' strike. World class mountaineer Jim Wickwire did the same thing, when he climbed K2, and under similar circumstances.
In another scene, a number of climbers fall into a crevasse only to be saved at the last minute by the physics instructor, as he digs his ice axes in and grips the road. The film also include a scene that shows the expedition leader succumbing to high altitude sickness, necessitating his descent of K2 as soon as possible.
Animosity on the mountain between the climbing leader and the attorney over who will be part of the first summit team is also reminiscent of real life expeditions. It is here that the attorney's friendship with the physics instructor becomes strained, as he lays claim to be on the first summit team and does not include his friend, even though they had been climbing partners for ten years. So much for the brotherhood of the rope.
After the first summit team is finished off by the mountain, the two friends summit, but on the descent the physics instructor falls and is seriously injured, breaking his leg. As you can imagine, this is really bad news, as it is tantamount to a death sentence, especially when you are in the death zone and without oxygen.
Since this is a buddy movie, the attorney comes up with a plan to get his friend down K2. I won't tell you what it is, but I will give you a hint. The plan used is to be found in Joe Simpson's book "Touching the Void".
Interestingly enough, the movie is dedicated to two mountaineers of renown: Seattle attorney, Jim Wickwire, and physicist, Lou Reichardt, both of whom were among the first Americans to summit K2 in 1978. This film seems to be loosely based upon some of their mountaineering exploits. It is a moderately enjoyable film that should appeal to armchair climbing enthusiasts everywhere.
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on 3 December 2005
What sets this film apart from other mountaineering thrillers and makes it so refreshing is that it is actually faithful to reality (unlike the disappointingly lame Vertical Limit movie). Wonderful climbing scenes, exhillarating theme music and a great interplay between the two main characters. The climax of the film sees our heros summit K2 after a beautiful and eerie ice climbing sequence. What's more, I don't think there's a single blue-screen effect used in the whole movie - it's all done for real. I watched this rental well over 25 times, until my girlfriend forced me to send it back!
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on 30 December 2003
Even though the climbing of the highest mountains in the world is one of the greatest achievements a man can do, there aren't too many films about this. But this is, in my opinion, THE film to watch!
And you don't have to be a mountain climber to like this film. I have never done one hour of mountain climbing in my life, and I tell you: I was on the edge of my seat throughout the whole thing! This film is exciting and good to the last second, and the actors (Michael Biehn in particular) as well as the directors do a great job indeed!
You can feel their endeavour when climbing through snow and ice at 7 kilometers, you can feel their frustration with the stubborn Himalayan carriers and much, much more - only I don't want to reveal too much!
Conclusion - a great thriller indeed!
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on 13 January 2006
Mt Waddington is not exactly K2, and the scenery is not exactly the Goodwin-Austin Glacier and Concordia, but at least there is a sincere attempt to make it so. I liked the scenes in Skardu (although the fort is nothing like Askole). It beats Vertical Limit (there is a plot and characters with some depth). On a recent trek to K2BC we had problems with porters and it is true to life to state that the Baltistani people are as hospitable as they are unreliable! A good, watchable effort with some great situations on the hill. Enjoy.
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on 7 February 2016
Have had the video for years and finally got the DVD. Great scenery, be it in Pakistan, Canada or the USA, and some effective climbing shots - much better than other similar era films out there. Sadly had to return the DVD as major fault in playback of both film and Film Extras. Swift response from seller who refunded me almost the same day.
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on 28 March 2016
great film seen before a long time as it shows the lengths and extremes the climbers will go to top a mountain with ever changing climate and many obstacles. it makes you willing them on and feels like your in the film as it's so tense.
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on 16 October 2013
Received in excellent order and what a bloody good film with excitement and thrills to keep you engaged and watching, brilliant and enjoyed from start to finish.
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on 9 January 2010
I ordered this as part of a Christmas box for my partner (he'd been after it for ages). It arrived promptly and although the film had been released to a foreign market the instructions for British use were excellent. It was well received by my partner and I will no longer be dragged around DVD shops looking for it. In short, excellent delivery and service from the provider.
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This is essentially a buddy movie clothed in mountaineering garb. It is a story about two climbers: one, a Seattle based attorney, the other, a physics instructor. They are a mismatched pair of friends who are brought together because of their love for climbing. The story line is about the ultimate test that their friendship endures while high on K2, the second highest mountain in the world but the most perilous to climb.

The rock climbing scenes that take place in the first fifteen minutes of the movie are terrific to watch, even though they may not be technically correct. After all, it's a movie, not a documentary. The scenery is spectacular and the cinematography is excellent.

These friends decide to grab an opportunity to climb K2 with an expedition that lost two of its team members to an avalanche on Denali. The attorney has no problem going to K2, but the physics instructor leaves behind his weeping wife and child. Yet his friendship with the attorney and his own desire to climb K2 compel him to leave his distraught family.

There are a number of scenes in the movie that seem to be taken from real life. While on expedition to K2, the porters leave them stranded, refusing to go any further on the mountain, as they have portents of doom. They also want more money. One scene has the attorney burning rupees in defiance of the porters' strike. World class mountaineer Jim Wickwire did the same thing, when he climbed K2, and under similar circumstances.

In another scene, a number of climbers fall into a crevasse only to be saved at the last minute by the physics instructor, as he digs his ice axes in and grips the road. The film also include a scene that shows the expedition leader succumbing to high altitude sickness, necessitating his descent of K2 as soon as possible.

Animosity on the mountain between the climbing leader and the attorney over who will be part of the first summit team is also reminiscent of real life expeditions. It is here that the attorney's friendship with the physics instructor becomes strained, as he lays claim to be on the first summit team and does not include his friend, even though they had been climbing partners for ten years. So much for the brotherhood of the rope.

After the first summit team is finished off by the mountain, the two friends summit, but on the descent the physics instructor falls and is seriously injured, breaking his leg. As you can imagine, this is really bad news, as it is tantamount to a death sentence, especially when you are in the death zone and without oxygen.

Since this is a buddy movie, the attorney comes up with a plan to get his friend down K2. I won't tell you what it is, but I will give you a hint. The plan used is to be found in Joe Simpson's book "Touching the Void".

Interestingly enough, the movie is dedicated to two mountaineers of renown: Seattle attorney, Jim Wickwire, and physicist, Lou Reichardt, both of whom were among the first Americans to summit K2 in 1978. This film seems to be loosely based upon some of their mountaineering exploits. It is a moderately enjoyable film that should appeal to armchair climbing enthusiasts everywhere.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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