With its breathtaking views of the world's highest mountain in the forefront and the deadly 1996 climbing accident as a backdrop, mountaineer/filmmaker Breashears's IMAX film Everest made a rapid ascent into the box office top 20. What begins as a feel-good inspirational account of a climbing expedition to the top of the Himalayan giant takes a tragic turn when Breashears's team finds itself witnessing a storm that kills several climbers from another expedition. The film trails four of the expedition's world-class climbers, documenting their death-defying technical feats, bouts of altitude sickness, and the final courageous ascent through the oxygen-deprived “death zone” to the summit. Despite the dramatic subject matter, Everest only scratches the surface of what these climbers must have witnessed and endured. You get the feeling Breashears glossed over the more gruesome details for fear of bringing the audience down. As a result, Everest lacks the grittiness its story so obviously warrants.
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