Reviewed by: Debbie James
|Featuring:||Bill Paxton, Chris O’Donnell, Izabella Scorupco, Robin Tunney, Scott Glenn|
|Producer:||Marcia Nasatir, Lloyd Phillips, Martin Campbell, Robert King|
This movie’s tagline: “Hold your breath” aptly describes what the viewer does throughout the movie. The climbing teams experience many life-and-death instances, beginning with the opening scene. Although some scenes are predictable and the dramatic scenes lag a bit, the scenes are well-executed overall. The film’s cinematography is beautiful to watch. It’s one of those movies that is definitely better on the big screen. In addition, the cleverly timed winter release allows the viewer to experience the cold with the climbers.
In “Vertical Limit”, Chris O’Donnell is Peter Garrett, a wildlife photographer for National Geographic and an avid mountain climber. His estranged sister Annie (Robin Tunney) is also a climber, now working as a mountain guide. She is part of a team assembled to climb to the top of K2, the second highest mountain in the world. This team is being assembled by wealthy Texas businessman Elliot Vaughn (Bill Paxton), who has planned this event to honor the first flight of a new airline scheduled to fly overhead as they reach the summit. Tom McLaren (Nicholas Lea), is chosen to accompany them because of his reputation as one of the best climbers in the world.
How can I be and feel forgiven? Answer
Peter and Annie are reunited when Peter’s assistant is injured and is airlifted to the base camp of K2 for medical care. They haven’t spoken to each other since their father’s death, which Annie blames Peter for causing. Their tension adds to the tension already brewing regarding the possibility that a storm may hinder the team’s plans. They eventually receive a favorable weather report and the climb proceeds as scheduled. When Annie and crew head out, Peter decides to stick around and wait for his sister’s return before going back to his job.
The storm that the weathermen thought would miss them eventually (and predictably) turns their way and endangers their lives. Against the advice of Tom McLaren, Elliot Vaughn arrogantly (and stupidly) orders the team onward, not wanting to miss his rendezvous with the flight. When an avalanche occurs, the team falls into a crevasse and is buried by the snow.
Peter then assembles a rescue team of six people, led by a scraggly, old legendary mountain climber named Montgomery Wick (Scott Glenn), whose wife just happens to have died on a previous climb with Elliot Vaughn. The plot thickens.
Peter hopes against all odds to reach his sister’s team before their emergency supplies run out.
Objectionable language consists of 1 use of the f-word and 1 of “the finger” gesture, 4 misuses of “God” or “Jesus,” 21 common swear words, and several other uses of colorful language. Other objectionable material includes: two brothers on the mountain are seen sunbathing nude and appear to be drunk, but due to the position of the men sitting in chairs, no private parts are exposed. In a later scene, people celebrate on the eve of the climb and many are drinking alcoholic beverages and/or smoking. Also, a man is shown urinating (we see his urine stream).
Aren’t all religions basically the same? Why do Christians insist that one must believe in Christ alone to be saved? Answer
Gross/gory instances occur when characters are injured or bloody (mostly scenes involving coughing up blood due to prolongued exposure to the high altitude conditions). On one occasion, we get a long view of a dead, frozen body. Violence consists of several minor scuffles and accidental explosions, a man kills one of his team members and another man attempts to kill someone, but stops himself. There are several instances when a decision is made to allow some people to die so that the others can live. The Pakistani military occasionally fires artillery towards India, but there is no return fire.
With so many cults and denominations, how can I decide which are true and which are false? Answer
HELL—Fact or Fiction? Answer
In one scene, a Muslim man prays. Another climber ponders the afterlife and mentions that all religions disagree on who you have to believe in to avoid going to hell, so no matter what, he’s doomed to go to hell. This view typifies the common attitude of “since I don’t know which religion is true, and they all claim to be true, I just won’t bother with any of them, and accept my fate.” This is sad.