I think it’s safe to assume there is no "spoiler alert" needed here. If you didn’t read Jon Krakauer’s gut-wrenching memoir recounting the ill-fated 1996 Everest expedition, "Into Thin Air," I’m sure the guy in the seat next to you on the plane talked your ear off about it — it was quite the page-turner. So we all have a pretty good idea going in how this one turns out. Like "United 93" and "Lone Survivor," the audience knows this movie doesn’t end well.
Our story begins with some quick brutal facts about Everest, namely that one-quarter of climbers who attempt it, die on the mountain. The film then follows two climbing teams, one led by Rob Hall (Jason Clark) the other by Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal) as they go from rivalry to desperation when a devastating blizzard hits.
The film is not based on the book and no mention of "Into Thin Air" is made in the film’s promotion—Krakauer himself has had some choice words for this account, referring to it in one interview as “total bull.” Regardless, the real star of the film is the CGI. The special effects are dizzying and truthfully, director Baltasar Kormakur seems to have dedicated most of his effort to giving the audience the feeling of being right there with the climbers. Which is great, as long as I’m in a cozy seat in a warm theater. It’s a 7.