Vertical Limit Starring Chris O’Donnell, Robin Tunney, Bill Paxton and Scott Glenn. Directed by Martin Campbell. Written by Robert King III. Run Time 124 minutes approx.
Vertical Limit is a cocktail of shite. “The Perfect Storm” with ice. And it’s a nasty concoction that will leave a bad taste in your mouth.
Chris O’Donnell and Robin Tunney (brother and sister, in the film) go climbing on a big rock thing in the middle of Utah, with their dad. Climbers above them have an accident and fall, dragging the others off the Face. Three of them are left clinging by one guide rope. Will it support their weight? No! So the father, who is on the dangly end of the rope, insists that the weight is too heavy and decides he should be cut free. After some debate they decide against it, but Dad insists so they nearly do it again but change their mind, then go to do it again and change their mind again. This should be an emotional and moving scene. It was. It moved me to go and get some popcorn and a hot dog.
When I got back, the fucker was still hanging on the rope telling them to cut it. “Give ME the knife”, I shouted at the screen, “I’ll cut it.” (and I would have too). Chris O’Donnell cuts the rope and I thought the movie was finished. It wasn’t. I should’ve left at this point because, like Chris O’Donnell’s father, Vertical Limit plummets quickly and hits rock bottom. After killing his father, the relationship between Chris O’Donnell and Robin Tunney becomes strained to say the least. Neither of them could bear to be around each other as it will always remind them of THAT day.
I know what they mean. One day, I was hanging out with a few friends. Often we would hide under my friend’s porch and look for a jar of pennies he had hidden from his older brother. He had lost them cos when his mum tidied his room she had thrown his map away. Anyhoo, while we were under the porch, his older brother was talking to his mates about a body that had been seen about 25 miles west of where we lived. Me and four other friends decided it would be cool to try to find this body by walking down the rail tracks. It was a great adventure. We got chased by dogs, threatened by shop keepers, nearly hit by a train, told stories about pie eating contests around a fire, got covered in leeches, got drunk, had a few fights, clicked with hookers, hustled in a brothel, and killed a pimp with one of his ho’s crack pipes. Now I can’t bear to smoke crack through a pipe walking down a train track looking for hookers. I have to eat crack raw and settle for sex with my wife. I know exactly how Chris O’Donnell and Robin Tunney feel.
Later in the movie, Tunney is hired by a billionaire (Bill Paxton) to join his expedition to climb K2 in the Himalayas. Everything is going fine till bad whether scuppers their better judgement and they end up trapped in an ice cavern under an avalanche. After a small reconciliation, Chris O’Donnell decides he must rescue his sister with the help of Scott Glenn. Scott Glenn’s wife was a tour guide who went missing in an avalanche four years prior.
So, let me get this straight in my head. Chris O’Donnell has three days to find his sister. Time is of the essence and he enlists the help of a guy who still hasn’t found his wife after four years? This is real? Vertical Limit hangs on to what happens in the first few minutes and any realism is shot to shit. What happens if you put your tongue on ice? It sticks right? Even if you touch it with your lips if it has frozen properly, it will stick. Scott Glenn finds his dead wife and kisses her even though she’s been an ice cube for four years. He kisses her and is able to pull away. THE BITCH WOULD HAVE WELDED TO HIS FACE. Do we get a decent comedy scene where his lips stretch across a mountain as he tries to push her away? No, just some hippie asshole showing his dead missus that he still loves her. After being stuck in a fucking snowbank for the last few Christmases, she’s probably more concerned with her complexion or what’s happened in Sunset Beach.
Don’t go to see this film. It’s really boring. If you want to see something similar, I suggest Bikini Ski School. It’s great. More sex and only half the mind-numbing dialogue.