Conquest of Everest
One of this week's hottest topics is the quality (or, to be more
truthful, the lack of quality) of this summer's movies (OK, maybe we
mean the outright stinkiness of Summer 2010 movies). Critics,
commentators, fans and more have bemoaned the likes of Cats &
Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, Prince of Persia and Predators.
week, we get a chance to go off the beaten track for something a little
more exhilarating and different.
Combining archival footage, modern day re-creation and an attempt to
make a journey that ended in mystery years ago, director Anthony
Geffen, writer Mark Halliley and explorer Conrad Anker use this
documentary to take us back to 1924, when legendary British explorer
George Mallory, after becoming one of the biggest celebrities and
inspirations in England, vanished just 800 feet from becoming the first
person to reach the summit of Mount Everest. However, while making a
similar journey in 1999, Anker found Mallory's long lost body, and
discovered he might have died while descending the summit.
Did Mallory make it to the top?
Can Anker, using some of the same antiquated equipment and following
the same path, make it to the top to show it was possible?
Dream: Conquest of Everest has
some of the most breathtaking visuals and fascinating storytelling of
the year as the audience is compelled to become wrapped up in this 20th
century mystery, even if you have never heard of George Mallory.
Geffen and team do a wonderful job explaining who Mallory was and his
significance, even if we do get a little too much time dedicated to his
personal life. Sure, everyone wants to "humanize" Mallory and bring in
the family drama of his life, but we don't need it to heighten the
story nor the drama and tension. It comes off more like filler instead
of vital information.
Then, we see the challenge brought to life as Anker tries to make the
same journey, and we get to see the peril with our own eyes and ears.
Geffen lets us hear the wind, see the massive mountains to be conquered
and experience the difficulty Anker faces. The explorer and his
teammate, Leo Houlding, vividly describe their physical and mental
state, and help put us in their shoes, as well as those of Mallory and
his team. It's like being on the mountain with them.
Dream: Conquest of Everest is
playing in various IMAX theaters across the country.
The Wildest Dream is rated PG for thematic elements involving hardships
of climbing, and some historical smoking images.