Review, Theatrical

Time for a Reel THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US review

THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US review

Based on a Charles Martin novel by the same name, The Mountain Between Us brings forth a drama where peril lurks around every turn. Idris Elba stars opposite Kate Winslet in a drama about survival against the steepest of odds.

Dr. Ben Bass (Idris Elba) and Alex Martin (Kate Winslet) are two strangers with absolutely nothing in common other than they’re both stuck in a location that they don’t want to be. When an approaching storm grounds all outbound commercial flights, the pair ends up chartering a small plane to escape the weather so that they can both return to their regularly scheduled lives. Tragedy strikes without warning and their plane ends up crash landing into a snowy mountain in Utah. With no way to communicate and no one actively looking for this downed plane, Ben and Alex must defy the odds and lean on one another if they should ever hope to be rescued. Will circumstance and nature be their undoing or can these two find a way to overcome insurmountable odds to live to tell their harrowing tale of survival?

The Mountain Between Us plays out exactly how you would assume it would in the beginning. After that though, the path it’s traveling is not that clear. Idris Elba and Kate Winslet are front and center for this one. The chemistry between the two accomplished actors will either make or break this movie. The plot and path of this movie has very little wiggle room so, for the most part, you know where things are heading. We learn a lot about what makes each of them tick and it doesn’t seem forced or like it’s filling time. That is a good thing. There’s a little humor to break up the doom and gloom and there’s cause for home. I say that to say that this is not an edge of your seat suspenseful drama that will have you gasping for air the entire 100+ minutes of runtime.

Idris Elba shows a softer side in his portrayal of Ben Bass. Still though, his dedication to sound logic is almost robotic in nature. There is a weakness in his armor. He is a man with baggage and struggles to work through things and various points of the movie. Kate Winslet’s character, Alex is the emotional one so she’s more of the impulsive one. Audiences should be able to identify with one persona or the other, but not both. You’ll find yourself thinking, “would I have done what did?” That’s the good thing about a movie like this one. Self reflection is inevitable. I mean really, what would you do? After watching this, those answers aren’t as clear as you might think.

The Mountain Between Us is filled with tense moments along with some very tender ones as well. There is a little something for both sides here. You’ve got action and adventure, but you also have your drama and romance. While this movie isn’t as disastrous as something like Everest (2016) or as epic as The Revenant (2015), you can feel the lives hanging in the balance.

The story is interesting. You can’t help but get attached. Some parts are “too Hollywood” and disrupt the believability aspect, but it’s still not Cliffhanger (1993) ridiculous. You’ll definitely feel like you’re watching something that was born from the pages of a novel but it still translates into a worthwhile watch. Don’t expect The Mountain Between Us to put a big box office fight. It has star power going for it and the simple fact that people are drawn to plane crash movies. While not in the upper echelon of survivalist films, there’s something to be said for doing just enough with the right cast that can make this experience a good one. You can check it out in theaters now.

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