Hollywood has rarely produced a fictionalized climbing film that rises above schlock (see: “Cliffhanger,” “Vertical Limit,” etc.) “Everest,” about the 1996 tragedy detailed in Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air, is one of the few exceptions. With a high-powered cast — Josh Brolin, Jake Gyllenhall, and Jason Clarke — and a driven director, Baltasar Kormákur (“The Deep” and “2 Guns”), the film is every bit as nail-biting as the book. The cast trained for months to make the climbing sequences look real, and scenes were shot at Everest Base Camp, the Italian Alps, and Iceland, which helps add to the authenticity. Even CGI panoramas of the mountain add to the overall (positive) effect. Coming on the heels of two successive years in which the mountain was shut down (first after a 2014 avalanche that killed 16 Sherpa, then an earthquake last year that set off another avalanche), Everest is a gripping reminder of just how deadly climbing still is on the world’s most overcrowded mountain.
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