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An emotionally-charged action-adventure tale of a retired climber who must launch a treacherous and extraordinary rescue effort up k2, the world's second highest peak, to save his estranged sister and her summit team in a race against time.
As action director Martin Campbell's heart-pumping thriller VERTICAL LIMIT begins, an eagle glides gracefully over the stunningly filmed mesas of Utah. Its shadow falls on a vertical rock face being climbed by Peter Garrett (Chris O'Donnell), his father (Stuart Wilson), and his sister Annie (Robin Tunney). Suddenly a backpack hurtles by, followed rapidly by two climbers whose ropes tear the male Garretts from the rock face. The excruciatingly tense sequence ends in tragedy.^After this stunning opening, the action switches to the Himalayas, where tycoon Elliott Vaughn (Bill Paxton) has financed an expedition that will take him to the summit of K2--the world's second highest mountain. Annie is one of Elliott's party. In the face of a threatening storm, Elliott recklessly insists the climb should continue. The storm duly arrives and decimates the expedition, leaving Elliott and Annie stranded. Peter leads a group of climbers--including the grizzled Montgomery Wick (Scott Glenn) and a French-Canadian nurse (Izabella Scorupco)--in a rescue attempt.|Campbell, director of photography Derek Tattersall, many daring cameramen, mountain climbers, avalanche specialists, and special effects technicians, along with veteran editor Thom Noble, deliver a beautifully filmed mountaineering thriller with even more heart-stopping moments than JAWS.
"The action scenes in VERTICAL LIMIT take cliffhanging to the highest peaks of excitement..." 12/08/2000 p.4E
"...The physical feats are inspiring, crowd-pleasing testaments to the stupendous extremes of human capabilities..." 01/01/2001 p.63
"...The best scenes give you a vicarious vertigo high..." 01/05/2001 p.51
"...The stunt work and David Tattersall's lensing catch moments of the adrenaline rush that is mountain climbing..." 11/29/2000 p.14-39
"...Strongly acted and well crafted....VERTICAL LIMIT delivers with efficiency and craft..." 12/08/2000 p.43
Sight and Sound
"...Campbell's tale of Himalayan derring-do does exhibit a fearsome kinetic energy and a rounded grasp of characterisation..." 09/01/2001 p.62
"[T]he avalanches and stunts are watchable..." 08/01/2001 p.144
The blend of stunt work and effects is seamless, and there's a real suspense as they edge out of tight spots... Vertical Limit delivers with efficiency and craft, and there are times, when the characters are dangling over a drop of a mile, when we don't even mind how it's manipulating us.
DVD, Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 1.85:1, Dolby Digital (5.1), Dolby Surround Sound, No Longer Produced
Bill Diehl, ABC Radio
A hair raising high altitude adventure.
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