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Stranded after a tragic plane crash, two strangers must forge a connection to survive the extreme elements of a remote snow covered mountain. When they realize help is not coming, they embark on a perilous journey across hundreds of miles of wilderness, pushing one another to endure and discovering strength they never knew possible. Written by
Twentieth Century Fox
I think we've been pretty spoiled with great survival movies in recent years. 127 Hours, Gravity, The Revenant, Lone Survivor, or even Mad Max have given us a keen sense of a perilous journey with an emotionally satisfying finale. It seems like we get a great one every year, but The Mountain Between Us just the opposite. It uses the setting and climate to produce cheap drama and dialogue that feels like something out of a lifetime movie. With award winning actors in Idris Elba and Kate Winslet, it's hard to believe that there's little chemistry between the two. But I guess that's what happens when the script is poorly constructed.
Usually it's beneficial to get to know characters before putting them in a life-threatening position, that way you actually feel for them when put in horrific circumstances. One second we're in the airport following Kate Winslet and Idris Elba in the airport as they separately try and and book a new flight during a heavy snowstorm, and under 5 minutes later, they are on a private plane together fighting through the wintry forces. It all just happens way too fast. After seeing the entire film, I'm glad there isn't any more to the runtime, but perhaps if there was more time spent setting the characters up, I could have enjoyed some of the interplay between them later on.
However, as I said before, the dialogue doesn't help the situation at all. When all you have is two actors, a bunch of snow, and a beautiful labrador, there's not a whole lot you can do creatively. Yet, there are movies that have done more with less. And when you don't have a ton of chemistry with your leads, your instinct would be as a director to give the dog some screen time, and the lab certainly gets that. Being a dog person, and with thinly written characters, I cared way more about the dog's whereabouts than I did whether or not Kate Winslet would drown in a pond of ice. That sounds harsh, but it's true, there's just not a lot of meaningful depth given to Winslet or Elba's characters.
Can you guess what may unfold when a man and a woman are stranded together for weeks on a mountain top? Yep, eventual romantic feelings are expressed and it's just as forced as you can imagine. As if i wasn't already disliking the movie at that point, that was the final nail in the coffin. Really, the only redeemable aspect to this film is the beautiful labrador making the trek along with the actors, and a pretty impressive crash sequence (technically). Other than that, this will go down as one of the more forgettable films (that had promise) of the last few years.
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