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Stranded after a tragic plane crash, two strangers must forge a connection to survive the extreme elements of a remote snow covered mountain. When they realize help is not coming, they embark on a perilous journey across hundreds of miles of wilderness, pushing one another to endure and discovering strength they never knew possible. Written by
Twentieth Century Fox
Watched 'The Mountain Between Us' because the idea for the story was an intriguing one and Idris Elba and Kate Winslet are very talented actors who have both got great performances under their belts. That its critical reception was mixed, with many leaning towards the negative, made no difference to me.
Seeing 'The Mountain Between Us', it could have been much better. The potential was quite vast, there was a good film in 'The Mountain Between Us' somewhere, it was like having lots of snow to begin with then to find later on that it melts to slush. Is 'The Mountain Between Us' an awful film? Not to me it wasn't. Was it great? Again from personal opinion it wasn't, nor was it particularly good. It has good elements sure but the latter stages of the film in particular bring it down.
'The Mountain Between Us' does have notable good things. The scenery is beautiful and full of atmosphere, a wintry setting in a fight for survival film has not in a while been more beautiful or chilling. The stunning cinematography with some jaw-dropping camera angles impresses even more and complements the scenery wonderfully, making it even more striking. The music score is not a necessarily memorable one but there is a brooding intensity that works well.
Considering what they have to work with, both Idris Elba and Kate Winslet are very good, he bringing charismatic gravitas and dignity and she bringing fiery spirit and pathos. They both deserved better but they really make the most of making things work. The dog is just adorable with very natural and expressive acting, definitely the character that one cares for most. There are some moments of peril that are done with flair and atmosphere.
However, most of the perilous scenes lack suspense and a sense of true danger with it being too obvious what the outcomes are and some of it in a contrived way. Slow pacing often is not a problem for me, there are great films to masterpieces that have a slow pace but it works because everything else is executed so well. With 'The Mountain Between Us', the pace did drag, severely hurt by the lack of tension, and it does feel like the film is 15-20 minutes too long.
For the slow pace to not matter, the story needed to be absorbing, the emotions and suspense to be there and the characters to be interesting and developed reasonably (even if they weren't complex). Suspense and tension is pretty much zero, the predictability and far-fetched nature of the storytelling dilutes both, and when it comes to the emotions and such the romantic chemistry between Elba and Winslet had more frostbite than it had warmth, although the individual performances were very good the chemistry was too cold and remote.
None of the characters, apart from the dog, are interesting or worth investing in regardless of the professionalism of the acting. The characters are very flimsily developed, with their stories lacking any insight or freshness and instead come over as clichéd and melodramatic. 'The Mountain Between Us' particularly loses its way in the final 30 minutes which honestly felt like it belonged in another film, none of it rings true or resonates emotionally and the excessive slush would be more at home in a film of a Nicholas Sparks book at its schmaltziest.
Overall, doesn't have enough to generate much warmth but has enough to not leave one completely cold. Lukewarm (somewhere in between) is more like it. 5/10 Bethany Cox
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