The story of THE CLIMB starts with two mountain climbers rescuing a young man, who turns out to be the son of a wealthy owner of some superstores in Denver, Colo. Derek is a hotshot African American (played magnificently by Jason George), who wants to do everything himself, in an effort to get back at his father who abandoned him as a young man. The other, Michael Harris (played sensitively by Ned Vaughn), is a committed Christian hurting from the loss of his wife. To repay Derek and Michael, the wealthy owner decides to sponsor them on a climbing expedition to a dangerous mountain in Chile that has claimed many lives. Getting to the mountain proves to be just as difficult as climbing it.
In spite of a small budget, THE CLIMB tells a powerful story which will bring tears to many eyes. More interestingly, it combines all four of Aristotle’s four basic plots – man against nature, man against man, man against God or gods, and man against himself. Furthermore, they all seem to work together seamlessly. THE CLIMB is a first-rate production and terrific entertainment which will take audiences to new heights
(CCC, V, AA) Strong Christian worldview; no foul language; some dangerous climbing scenes & a fight scene; kissing & pregnancy out of wedlock; no nudity; alcohol use & drunkenness; no smoking; and, nothing else objectionable.
THE CLIMB soars to new heights for World Wide Pictures. In spite of a small budget, and a difficult terrain, it tells a powerful story which will bring tears to many eyes. More interesting, it combines all four of Aristotle’s four basic plots – man against nature, man against man, man against God or gods, and man against himself. Furthermore, in a sweeping exception to dramatic rules, they all seem to work together seamlessly.
The story and acting are clearly the strongest aspect of this movie. With a small budget, the movie does not look like they shot at Andean heights. The sound is not as rich as a Hollywood action adventure, and the effects are diminutive compared to big budget pictures. However, the movie succeeds in spite of its limits.
The story of THE CLIMB starts with a young man trying to climb an overhang, and getting knocked unconscious. Two climbers are recruited to rescue him. One is a hotshot African American by the name of Derek (played magnificently by Jason George), who wants to do everything himself, in an effort to get back at his father who abandoned him as a young boy. The other, Michael Harris, played sensitively by Ned Vaughn, is hurting from the loss of his wife. He is a committed Christian, but is not pushy. He likes the challenge but he doesn’t take risks. Together, they rescue this young man only to find out that he’s the son of a wealthy millionaire, played wonderfully by Dabney Coleman.
Mack Leonard owns a group of superstores. He wants to reward these local heroes for saving his son by giving them their dreams, which is to climb Mount Chicanagua in Chile. This mountain is famous for the “white death,” avalanches which have killed many famous climbers. The complications in this pursuit of their dream consists in Derek not wanting to have a partner, not wanting anything to do with God and chafing at Michael’s conservative climbing technique, as well as the fact that Mack is doing this as much for PR as for appreciation. In fact, Mack’s right-hand man has no attention of letting Mack do anything altruistic. There’s another problem, however. Derek has gotten his backsliding Christian girlfriend pregnant.
World Wide Pictures, with the help of writers Robert Pierce and Patrick Egan, has done an impressive job of weaving the Gospel of Jesus Christ into this story. It is one of the best presentations of the Gospel you’ll ever see in a movie, with a very strong incarnational element high up on the side of the Andean peaks.
The production values in THE CLIMB are good, considering the limited budget. Jason George does a superb job of portraying Derek’s cocky attitude as a professional mountain climber. Ned Vaughn’s quiet, spiritual intensity as Michael clashes well with Derek’s energy. The climax of their story is very emotional and filled with deep biblical significance. The music by Tim Hosman adds depth to the emotional impact of the movie on the big screen. One wishes at times that there were sounds of wind in the background or depth of sound effects to add color to a scene, or different camera effects to give a more intense sense of the jeopardy that the climbers face, but all these big budget expectations are forgotten by the time you get to the story’s powerful ending.
THE CLIMB is a first-rate production and terrific entertainment which will take audiences to new heights.
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