Starring: Chris O’Donnell, Robin Tunney, Bill Paxton, Scott Glenn
Director: Martin Campbell
THE photography and special effects in Vertical Limit are so good you feel as though you are on top of a mountain one minute and falling from it the next.
Peter (Chris O’Donnell) and Annie Garrett (Robin Tunney) lost their father while climbing a sheer cliff with him in Nevada. Annie has blamed Peter ever since for the tragedy. They meet again at the base camp to K2 in Pakistan where Annie has joined multi-millionaire Elliott Vaughn’s (Bill Paxton) attempt to scale the peak. It all goes horribly wrong and Montgomery Wick (Scott Glenn) leads Peter and four others on a rescue mission, which in turn is fraught with danger.
Vertical Limit raises a host of ethical issues that I am sure young people would do well to reflect on. Should a rescue team place themselves in danger to rescue a foolhardy group? Should an injured person in a group be allowed to die when their death could save others? What is the difference between killing and allowing to die?
There are also three familiar Australian actors in the mountaineering team – Robert Taylor, Ben Mendelsohn and Steve Le Marquand. While all three are full of courage, the last two are portrayed as ockers of the worst type. I cringed watching them.
Vertical Limit is a well crafted adventure pic, but avoid it if you suffer from vertigo.