The Mountain Between Us Review

The Mountain Between Us - Poster #1

It’s been a while since we’ve seen a survival thriller in theaters. Unlike typical Hollywood behavior, the success of The Revenant did not spring a ton of survival thrillers to capitalize on the film’s success. Now, we have a brand new survival thriller from Hany Abu-Assad. In his first English language film, Abu-Assad directs an adaptation of Charles Martin’s novel, The Mountain Between Us. Is the wait for the next great survival thriller worth it or does The Mountain Between Us waste the talent of its two leads?

Fortunately, The Mountain Between Us works as a survival thriller. Yet when it reaches the romantic aspect then the film ultimately derails.

The Mountain Between Us follows two complete strangers, Ben Bass and Alex Martin. After a storm strands them in an airport, the two takes a charter plane in order to get to their destination. But when the pilot gets a stroke in the air, the plane crashes into the desolate snowy mountain range. Now, Ben and Alex work together in order to the survive the wilderness. Yet along the way, they find something within themselves along the way…

The Mountain Between Us - Idris Elba

The Mountain Between Us has the making to be one of the great survival thrillers. The film has two amazing leads, a harrowing location, and the odds against them. For this reason, the film wholly succeeds. The survival aspect of the film is by far the best part of the film. But it’s not without its flaws. Director Hany Abu-Assad stages each scene to be genuinely perilous for our characters. However, the there is a lack of desperation and tension that’s essential for this type of film. That being said, the plane crash scene is incredibly well-staged as the crash is shot on a single camera in one shot. The scene is so intimate that audiences will feel like they were a part of the crash themselves.

Whether it’s the beautiful scenery or the sharp dialogue, Abu-Assad does a good job engaging audiences with The Mountain Between Us. However, the film goes at a very slow pace. When you get two actors in a single location, you’ll need to go at a very brisk pace. Yet Abu-Assad takes his time developing these characters with zero backstory.

Unfortunately, the actions of the characters doesn’t lend to their likability either. Notably Kate Winslet’s character, Alex Martin. She constantly does idiotic gut-feeling reactions and must be rescued constantly. Granted, screenwriter J. Mills Goodloe uses her reactions to move the story. Yet this just makes her character absolutely useless in a dire situation. On the other hand, Idris Elba’s character is a good survivalist despite being a brain surgeon. Time and time again, he saves Alex from the clutches of death. Therefore, these actions become increasingly tiring after a while.

The Mountain Between Us - Kate Winslet

Yet that’s the not worst aspect of The Mountain Between Us. Unless you’ve read the novel, you won’t realize that The Mountain Between Us is actually a romantic film. When Alex and Ben find their feelings then that’s when the film completely derails. The relationship between the two is way too convenient to carry any emotional weight. Especially in the film’s final act, where The Mountain Between Us goes from survival thriller to romantic melodrama. Thus, diluting what was a fairly entertaining survival thriller.

Unsurprisingly, it’s Elba and Winslet that saves this normally mediocre film. Both Elba and Winslet are great actors that bring a sort of gravitas to the film. They’re able to layer their characters and add something that a young actor may not be able to provide in such a role. Yes, even Kate Winslet who has played great characters before does a great job as this annoying character.

Overall, The Mountain Between Us is a decent and predictable drama elevated by its two amazing lead actors. Still, for those moviegoers that are looking for a decent romantic thriller then The Mountain Between Us is perfect for your needs.

Rating: 2.5/5 atoms

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1517 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.