“Human beings simply aren’t built to function at the cruising altitudes of a seven-forty-seven.”
Character actors are what make the movie world go ‘round. Sure, big name leading actors and actresses get all the attention, but it’s the supporting characters that more often than not make a movie interesting. Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin and even Jason Clarke might all be leading men, but even in those leading roles, they’re often character parts, Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler, Brolin in No Country for Old Men, Clarke in Zero Dark Thirty. So what happens when you fill a cast with great character actors like these, as well as John Hawkes, Emily Watson and Michael Kelly, and make a big budget disaster movie? You get something much better than your average big budget disaster movie. You get Everest.
It’s 1996, and leading exhibitions to the summit of Mount Everest has become big business. Such big business that there are 20 different groups at base camp, getting ready for the ascent. One is lead by New Zealander Rob Hall (Clarke). While his pregnant wife (Keira Knightley with a flawless Kiwi accent as Jan) waits at home, Rob prepares his clients, including Brolin as the brash, cocky Texan Beck Weathers, and Hawkes as the everyman with something to prove, Doug Hansen. As well as adventure writer, Jon Krakauer (Kelly, whose beard seems to smother all the creepiness of his House of Cards character, Doug). Leading his own group is Scott Fischer (Gyllenhaal), the laid back, casual yin, to Rob’s conservative, meticulous yang. (more…)