Film Review: The Mountain Between Us (2017)

2017 in Cinema:

The Mountain Between Us, 2017

Directed by: Hany Abu-Assad

Starring: Idris Elba, Kate Winslet

 

Two strangers, Dr. Ben Bass (Idris Elba, Thor: Ragnarok) and journalist Alex Martin (Kate Winslet, Titanic), need to get to Baltimore but a storm has stopped all commercial planes from taking off. So Alex comes up with the idea of taking a private helicopter ride and invites Ben along with her to share the price and aide him in his journeys. Their helicopter soon crashes, killing the pilot, and the two of them are left to survive the snowy mountains they’re isolated in.

Much like 47 Meters Down, this film largely takes place in one location, but it does so in a much more impressive way than 47 Meters Down’s underwater setting. They show the smallness of the characters brilliantly by showing scenes of constant snow as far as the eye can see. With every corner they turn there’s more snow, and aside from really hammering home their predicament, it’s also beautiful to see. However the visuals, and pretty solid acting, is where the positives for the film end.

With Ben and Alex being strangers at the start of the film it tries to force through a friendship with all the clichés of two strangers in this situation (awkward pleasantries, a bit of a disagreement before being really close) but the worst thing is how obvious it shows that they will end up romantically involved, despite him being married and her being engaged. And the helicopter driver ridiculously foreshadows what it due to happen later in the film: he says that he’s married but left her to be with the love of his life. It’s the worst possible way of saying that Idris Elba’s Ben will follow that exact same path. It’s also a pretty poor romantic journey they go on.

While I disliked 47 Meters Down, I did feel quite worried for the two girls in their predicament: running out of breath and the shark, I had no such worries for Ben and Alex. She’s hurt her leg and can’t walk properly, but, lucky for them, Ben is a doctor. Also they need to look for quite a lengthy distance at one point: lucky, again, that Alex’s camera has both a night-vision setting and a zoom. It’s such a lazy way to save them and ensure they have all the tools to survive, but it takes away any worry for their characters.

The film is predominantly focused on their survival journey and their romantic journey, and this film is pretty poor in both scenarios. While Kate Winslet and Idris Elba are both fine actors and deliver a pretty solid performance, and the visuals of the film are beautiful and the camera really captures their isolation wonderfully, everything else about the film is nothing more than average.

 

Plot: * *

Acting: * * *

Writing: * *

Presentation: * * * *

Overall Rating: * * ¾

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