Dream team save shaky Mountain
and emotion to what is potentially a very slushy and pulpy premise, but they also boast genuine chemistry and audiencecompelling charisma.
It’s a pity that J Mills Goodloe ( The Best of Me and The Age of Adeline) and Chris Weitz ( Rogue One, About a Boy) can’t quite achieve lift-off.
Based on a 2011 book by Charles Martin, much of Mountain‘ s dialogue seems a bit too expositional and portentous (‘‘we can go three weeks without food, three days without water and three minutes without air’’) and the ‘danger brings an unlikely couple together’ back story is straight from the Speed playbook.
To its credit, Mountain doesn’t end in an obvious place – an extended coda adding more poignancy and emotional depth than traditional Hollywood romantic action dramas achieve.
And kudos to director (and his dynamic duo) Hany Abu-Assad ( Omar, Paradise Now) for choosing to shoot on-location, adding an extra air – and chill – of authenticity to proceedings. Indeed, he elevates the action and the drama through clever point-ofview shots and camera angles.
But in the end, that Mountain thoroughly entertains – if not completely enthralls – is down to the central pairing.
Let’s just hope someone finds them a slightly better-polished script and more multi-dimensional supporting characters to team up with next time. – James Croot
Kate Winslet and Idris Elba help elevate the pulpy premise of The Mountain Between Us.