There’s been a small collection of movies where one or two people get stuck on an island, ship, boat, mountain – and the stories change their lives for better or worse. The Mountain Between Us decides that sharing a near-death experience is what makes people fall in love. It’s unconvincing but relatively entertaining at the same time.
Runtime: 1 hours 52 mins
The Disasters Faced
A plane crash, wildlife, the cold, both main characters own personalities and sex on a dirty old mattress!
The Mountain Between Us is a strange film because its all very Disney. By that, I mean every time something is about to get super serious and dramatic, it’s put into a love story framework. You see, I get the impression that the film would rather have Kate Winslet and Idris Elba just get it on and the mountain is actually between the romance and the end of the film. The disaster itself feels like a secondary event and not the focus of what we are meant to be interested in. This, in turn, is confusing because the film desperately wants to dangle Kate as a damsel in distress for the first half, and then Idris as a bit of a broken man needing fixing in the second half – placing them in situations that would usually get you killed. Instead of each situation feeling dramatic though, it’s like the film is slanted to show that the more you dangle someone in front of danger, the hornier it makes you! Come for the decent plane crash, stay for the impossible survival skills of a dog, laugh at the way how everyone seems to find new energy to continue at perfect story moments and then move on quietly afterwards.
The plane crash itself is actually quite well done, as is the debris set afterwards. When the story is dragging, for the first 2/3rds of the movie there is gorgeous scenery throughout and there are some nice ice and water effects too.
Why It’s Worth Watching
Winslet and Elba do their best with what they’ve got here. Sometimes they do look a bit knackered dragging each other through the snow – although not nearly knackered enough. It’s not their acting that’s the problem – it’s the love story itself that feels forced and actually quite awkward. The comes to the fore after they’ve been rescued as there’s still a good 15 minutes of film left. I like that there’s a section to show how both of them try to return back to normal life and flounder. It’s often something that’s overlooked and it culminates in the final meeting of Kate and Idris to then declare their love. There didn’t seem to be anything wrong with Kate’s life beforehand which is why its jarring that she just decides to up sticks – a bit like Catherine Zeta-Jones’ character in Titanic (1996 TV version). The dog is adorable and Beau Bridges as the pilot is like a mini comedy episode waiting to happen. His short appearance in the film ends in something that is almost slapstick with his death. At least he wasn’t eaten…
There is so much staring. SO MUCH. If you take a drink for each long stare, you’ll be unable to stare at anything for a long time as you’ll be blotto.
Can I vote for the dog? If not Beau Bridges as the pilot with a dodgy heart. He never survives a disaster movie – know your stars before boarding!
The entire disaster portion of the movie is meant to have taken place over three weeks yet both our leads look so fabulous they are literally bonking each other’s brains out. Not bad after 3 weeks of barely any food, freezing cold weather and near death experiences. Gotta keep those primal urges!
The film was shot in the Canadian Rockies and each day’s started with a trip to Invermere, 10,000 feet up and with temperatures below 30C.
It’s inoffensive and nowhere near as annoying or melodramatic as 6 Below, another lost on a mountain film recently released. It is, however, the equivalent of Twilight for the disaster movie genre where the love story is going to be put ahead of any excellent premise or situation – for better or worse.