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Kate Winslet – Alex Martin
Idris Elba – Dr. Ben Bass
Beau Bridges – Pilot
This movie feels like it should be more epic than it actually is. With gargantuan mountain ranges spanning miles and a harrowing story of strangers struggling to survive in minus temperatures, The Mountain Between Us holds all the ingredients of an intense tragedy. However, on the total opposite Winslet and Elba seem to keep up a display of half-drama half-romance as their characters journey to find salvation in the icy mountains. And this seems to stir itself into an atmosphere of adventure rather than what you might expect from such a production. Strange. I’m not saying this movie is a total disappointment but it seemed to deliver the complete reverse of what I was expecting when I went to see it. I wanted more meaty, gripping action but the most tense moments were probably the ice sheet plunge and Alex being hunted by a big old cougar as she lay injured in aircraft wreckage.
The fact that Elba and Winslet’s performances seemed to lower the tensity wasn’t good at all. This movie could have been constructed with scenes of sheer terror and heartwrenching emotion, and yet all we get is Alex and Ben leaving the crashed aircraft like two people leaving the house go go shopping – before embarking on their journey. This isn’t great, the atmosphere is tame and nowhere near the level it should be for two people who just crashed and almost died in freezing mountains. Direction wise, the movie also loses its path a little. Ironically, it seems to meander off into the hills like its two leads and soon the staggering around on sticks comes to a climax – literally – when Alex and Ben discover an abandoned wooden shack.. and subsequently make love.
I knew this was coming. It’s just impossible in a movie these days for a male and female to be thrown into a challenging situation without them engaging in intercourse isn’t it. As soon as Winslet’s tit popped out, I wound my neck right in. Arms folded, I waited for the lovemaking scene to cease so that the movie could pick up pace. It had to get better, surely..
This movie isn’t completely dire, thank god. Winslet is as on form as ever as the well-travelled Alex; the opening scene in Boise airport builds the story up nicely. Good camerawork here too as the lens focuses purely on her and him with all other supporting cast fading nicely into the background, whipping up an isolated environment.
She meets him, he is in the same predicament, she offers him a ride. The movie kicks off more or less immediately here which is great – top marks. Winslet takes full control of the screen during the opening scene too; her performance is subtle but engaging with much use of concerned facial expressions and a sense of panic.
Another aspect of the production is the dangers the pair face out in the wilderness. Alex stood on a sheet of ice which splinters and she plunges to the icy depths below, for example. Sadly, such moments are rare as the movie seems to focus more on the pair walking across snowy plains than highlighting certain dangers. Yes, the cougar and the ice sheet are probably the most tense moments in this. The movie loses points with me due to lack of excitement.
The Mountain Between Us really isn’t worth a fuss. If you catch it on TV one day, have a look. Otherwise, if you go out of your way to stream, download, or even purchase this movie – I cannot imagine what turns you on in general.
Its winning streak is the performance from both actors; Elba and Winslet are convincing at points with their drama and keep the movie going, but the viewer engagement ends there.
Avoid this one.