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Overall Rating

Awesome: 7.81%
Worth A Look: 11.72%
Average: 28.13%
Pretty Bad39.06%
Total Crap: 13.28%

9 reviews, 74 user ratings

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Vertical Limit
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by Brian McKay

"You know, Climbing K-2 just isn't dangerous enough - Let's take some NITRO!"
3 stars

This movie does for mountain climbing what "Jaws" did for the water - it makes me want to stay the fuck away from it. Why is everyone trying to make a bigger and better "Cliffhanger", a movie that was mediocre at best?

I wanted to really like this movie. It managed to be somewhat exciting without any machine gun fire (although it had a few explosions) and it didn't force a trite "ex boyfriend rushes up the mountain to save ex-girlfriend who he still loves" plot onto the audience, opting for a slightly more original "brother rushes up the mountain to save his estranged sister" plot instead.

The brother and sister in question are Peter and Annie Garrett, played respectively by Chris O'Donnel and Robin Tunney. They are estranged because she partly blames him for the loss of their father in a climbing accident, although it really wasn't poor Peter's fault. Now Peter is sworn off of climbing (kind of like Stallone in "Cliffhanger", what a coincidence) while Annie is a rising star in the climbing circuit. Annie has this new gig, escorting millionaire Elliot Vaughan (Bill Paxton, playing as loveable a cowardly weasel as ever)up K-2 as part of a publicity stunt. Needless to say, the weather turns to shit, and they are trapped in an ice cave after an avalanche wipes out most of their party. Big brother Peter (who just happens to be in the area on an unrelated assignment that week) to the rescue. Sound contrived so far? Oh it is.

Which is not to say that the film isn't visually breathtaking. One disaster after another plagues the climbers, and some of the action sequences will have you on the edge of your seat, from climbers constantly falling (only to be caught by their rope or a teammate at the last second) to men being blown off of a cliff by an avalanche, this film had me saying "holy shit" more than once. Unfortunately, it had me saying "oh yeah, right!" just as often. I expect a film like this to require some suspension of disbelief, but when it requires a suspension in the belief of physics as well, I have to draw the line. Remember how ridiculous the jumping bus in "Speed" looked? Well, you will experience that kind of moment over and over in this film.

There's more than just climbing and narrowly averting disaster in this film, but not much. Aside from the comic relief provided by a pair of aussie brothers who go on the rescue mission, there is the typically brooding Scott Glenn in the role of Montgomery Wick, a famous climber who now pines for his dead wife and searches the mountain for her body, which was never found. Turns out he's looking for more than her body, though, and agrees to lead the rescue attempt with his own hidden agenda. It provides a decent twist, but not an entirely unpredictable one.

The thing that bugs me about this film the most, however, is that while it shows all of the tribulations the rescue party goes through to reach the stranded party, it doesn't show how they managed to get them the fuck down once they find them! Next thing you know, they're back at base camp and all is well again. Maybe they took a flexible flyer down.

It's not a bad movie, all in all. It's your fairly competent but standard action fare - Better than "Cliffhanger" or "K-2", but not as good as "The Eiger Sanction".

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originally posted: 05/29/01 23:09:29
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User Comments

3/25/13 E.C.D. Takes way too long to get going. This is simple, plain, and needed to be 20 minutes shorter 3 stars
8/30/09 CTT Meh 3 stars
11/15/05 Quigley this is one heckuva movie, all right. action was really good, but acting wasn't up to snuff 4 stars
8/18/05 ES It's funny when the sun hits the nitro and it explodes = invest in radios that work dumbass 2 stars
4/02/05 Alice Colwell boring 2 stars
1/21/05 DM Horrible script somewhat salvaged by exciting action scenes 3 stars
11/23/04 D-Unit It blows the big one!!! 1 stars
9/24/04 Al Guy Robin Tunney is cute. The movie is not. 3 stars
9/16/04 Ryuji Oh dear. Crap story, crap effects. To top it off, the acting is more wooden than Pinochio. 1 stars
5/12/04 Gavin Loved it. Was one hell of a ride! Check it out. 5 stars
3/13/04 john bale White Hell meets Wages of Fear in the ultimate cliff hanger. Stunt man are the stars. 3 stars
3/04/04 timson "Chris O'Donnell, luv ya!". You, Rainbow, are an asshole. 1 stars
1/07/04 The name's Rainbow. Oh common! It has one of the coolest and hottest sidekicks around! Chris O'Donnell, luv ya! 4 stars
10/04/03 Chrys Calling it crap is an insult to feces. 1 stars
7/18/03 Chris I wanted to see this movie but when I did I was very dissappointed. This had potential. 2 stars
9/28/02 HekiliKoa the plot was as predictable as a weather in Greenland: always shitty 2 stars
9/15/02 syrius I have to slap the retards who decided to make this movie 1 stars
6/14/02 Ray Gordon Now you know why Darwin never climbed mountains. 1 stars
5/15/02 Blake The cliffs in this film looked like your were there. 5 stars
3/09/02 KrynnDM ...and I picked *this* over Charlie's Angels?! 2 stars
2/07/02 Lila great movie i love chris o'donnel 5 stars
2/03/02 Andrew Carden See The 1978 Rock Hudson B-Flick Avalance Instead. 1 stars
1/16/02 David A. Scenery and effects were entertaining, more so than the plot 4 stars
12/31/01 Moe Mr. Bean would have been a more believable climber 2 stars
12/23/01 Crunchyfrog Opening sequence is the funniest piece of film ever! 5 stars
11/27/01 KMG This movie is one nut-filled turd 1 stars
11/21/01 Matthew bartley Good stunts.Average addition to the disaster genre 3 stars
9/19/01 Karyn Monty Python movies are more believable then these special effects. 2 stars
8/29/01 Amy All "downhill" after the first three minutes 2 stars
8/12/01 tnt pathetically stupid in every way possible!!!! Avoid at all cost! 1 stars
7/10/01 Anne Predictable from the first five minutes. The scenery didn't make up for the retread plot. 2 stars
7/02/01 The Bomb 69 fun movie, could see what was happening a mile away but i was still entertained 4 stars
6/25/01 Matt Dorsey Blue screen effects. Predictable. Dubious nitro explosions. Somewhat entertaining. 3 stars
6/21/01 Bud OK rental with good special effects. No stirring performances. 3 stars
6/20/01 Melody Leu This movie was really awesome. Izabelle Scorupco and Chris Odonell were great and the other 5 stars
6/10/01 r davis Awful! Chinese water torture is preferable. 1 stars
6/05/01 Monday Morning Unbelievable but fabulous. Hell, just enjoy it! 5 stars
5/28/01 Wrob Stunning effects and highly unplausable action wrapped in a paper-thin plot. Typical. 2 stars
5/14/01 Destruction Worker On par with Cliffhanger 5 stars
5/10/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Cliche, cliche, and...oh, would ya looky here? ANOTHER cliche!! 2 stars
4/05/01 Hawkeye Alexander Siddig was good in his role, as were others, but the plot couldn't be saved. 3 stars
2/28/01 Rahul Gupta good action, who cares about the story as most of them similar anyway 4 stars
1/29/01 Nic It really left me on the edge of my seat. Not many movies do that for me. 4 stars
1/22/01 Emily Leigh itd the best so go cheak it out ! 5 stars
1/20/01 Ground Zero this was waay crappier than Cliffhanger 2 stars
1/17/01 Jes VERY unrealistic... 3 stars
1/13/01 Avenger Girl Sure there are some dumb things in the movie, as in most movies. OK action flick. 4 stars
1/12/01 Lord Raymos Really dumb plot, but nice action sequences. 2 stars
1/11/01 Boy In The Designer Bubble My cousin dragged me to this movie. I kicked the shit out of him when we got home. 1 stars
1/06/01 Viking I liked the snow leopards 3 stars
12/27/00 Mamjama LOL..sorry this flick sucked...but what's an Australian Sterotype???? 2 stars
12/25/00 matthew smith good action set pieces, pity about the script and lacks charisma 3 stars
12/23/00 MadBunny Nitro freezes (stable), the whole sunlight shit ignores ambient temperatures...helooo.. 1 stars
12/22/00 Stipey Dude, Where's My Carcass? 2 stars
12/21/00 Schell 6 climbers go on a rescue mission at 8,000m without oxygen gas, parkas or acclimitization. 2 stars
12/20/00 malcolm pretty good, but O'Donnell's character was SUPER selfish 3 stars
12/18/00 kayti denham Lame action and offensive stereotyping of Australians 1 stars
12/15/00 Kevin D. My high hopes for this movie were lost in a cave. 1 stars
12/14/00 Diehard I thought it was good, way better than expected. 4 stars
12/13/00 Mr. X Comparisons to "Cliffhanger" and "Everest" were inevitable. Just plain silly. 2 stars
12/12/00 PhilmPhreak Dumb, dumb, dumb, good stunts, dumb, dumb 1 stars
12/12/00 Jack Daniels OK action movie 3 stars
12/12/00 Ground Zero What the hell is this? Cliffhanger 2? 2 stars
12/11/00 frankko if there had been no dialogue, the movie would have been a lot better. 3 stars
12/11/00 Angus moorehead A simple film which scales the height in the latest extreme-wear fashion. 2 stars
12/11/00 Doctor Collosus Wow!!! Adrenalin RUSH! First really exviting movie in years. 5 stars
12/10/00 FrayLo Don't look for a great plot, this one was all about entertainment... 3 stars
12/10/00 Sexton Hardcastle Bah! Poop! 1 stars
12/10/00 Sam S. Far above any action movie I've seen in a long time. 5 stars
12/10/00 Kohawk If you're there for eye candy and not much substance it's ok. Low end just average 3 stars
12/10/00 Brandon - The Man Despite moments of great suspense, it had bad acting, lame story, ridiculous situations. 2 stars
12/07/00 Jennifer Verticell Good movie if you like action. 4 stars
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  08-Dec-2000 (PG-13)


  21-Dec-2000 (M)

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