Everest (DVD Review)29 Jun, 2009 By: Eui-jo Marquez
Prebook 6/30/09; Street 7/28/09
Rated‘PG-13’ for some intense adventure action, brief drug use and language.
Stars William Shatner, Jason Priestley, Leslie Hope, Eric Johnson.
To overlook what Everest has to offer is to overlook the opportunity to reach an audience who appreciates a real-life adventure.
The 2007 TV miniseries is based on the true story of a 1982 expedition that became the first Canadian team to reach the top of Mt. Everest. The team was one of the best organized and financed groups up to that point, with five years of planning, $3 million in funding and 27 tons of equipment.
Jason Priestley (“Beverly Hills 90210”) and William Shatner (“Star Trek”) have small roles in the film but play them convincingly. Shatner is the crusty, smug reporter Norman Kelly, who covered the climb, and Priestley is the famous climber John Lauchlan, who died from a climbing accident shortly before the attempt on Everest. The true star of the film is Eric Johnson, who is absolutely convincing as Laurie Skreslet, the first Canadian to summit Everest.
The young actors who play the team are energetic, passionate and very believable. The character development is in-depth, and the relationships are well played. The intensity of the different personalities in the movie is matched by the majesty of the mountain, on display through vista after breathtaking vista. Most of the movie was filmed in the Canadian Rockies, and the actors went through extensive mountaineering training before shooting began, for safety and realism.
The 1982 expedition was also the first time live video was broadcast from Everest to North America, and the documenting of this throughout the movie makes for interesting cinematography.
The old cliché about climbing is that the best reason to climb a mountain is because it’s there. And that’s kind of the same reason people should watch Everest — because it’s there, and because it’s brilliant.