VERTICAL LIMIT: DVD
Eccentric tycoon Elliot Vaughn (Bill Paxton) has an audacious new marketing idea -
he’s going to climb to the top of K2 and wave at the inaugural flight of his new
airline. He hires a crack climbing team which includes Annie Garrett (Robin Tunney).
Meanwhile, Annie’s brother Peter (Chris O’Donnell) along with many others at
base camp has doubts about the idea. When the climbers fall into a ravine and are trapped,
it’s up to Peter to assemble a rescue team. Led by the grumpy Montgomery Wick (Scott
Glenn), and including laconic Australians Cyril (Steve Le Marquand) and Malcolm Bench (Ben
Mendelsohn) plus beautiful Monique (Izabella Scorupco), they must beat both time and their
own fears to rescue the stranded group.
"This vertigo inducing action-adventure delivers plenty as
it charts what happens when Richard Branson-like billionaire
Elliot Vaughn (Bill Paxton) decides he wants to stand on top of K2
(the world's second highest mountain) and wave to the passengers
on the inaugural flight of the airline he's just launched.
Naturally, Vaughn and company get stranded, requiring
photographer Peter Garrett (Chris O'Donnell) and toeless mountain
climbing legend Montgomery Wick (Scott Glenn) to lead a dangerous
rescue bid. Garrett was a climber once but lost his nerve after
being forced to sacrifice his father while saving himself and
sister Annie (Robin Tunney) during the film's thrilling opening
It's Annie (Robin Tunney) up there with Vaughn and like a former
gunfighter forced to pick up the pistols one more time, Garrett
decides to save his sis and lay that awful memory to rest.
Helping him are larrikinAussie brothers (Ben Mendlesohn and Steve
Le Marquand), fiery French-Canadian (Izabella Scorupco, proving
there is life after Bond girl duties in Goldeneye) and another
legendary mountaineer named Skip (Robert Taylor). High altitude
thrills ensue as the daredevils brave the elements while we play
"which supporting characters will be the first to die?"
And many of them do in a series of dazzling special effects
A massive budget and the services of crack helmer Martin Campbell
aren't all Vertical Limit has going for it. Terry Hayes'
screenplay is sharper and has more satisying character
development than most "event" pictures, making it
easier to go along with the standard plot.
The audio commentary by Campbell and producer Lloyd Phillips is a
little disappointing. Too few interesting anecdotes make it
rather dry although the technical information offered is
satisfying if that’s your bag. The bonus footage, featuring
just about every key player (except Mendelsohn and Le Marquand!)
is entertaining and well produced. For sheer tension Cliffhanger
still reigns but there's enough here to keep most thrillseekers
Published June 21, 2001
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VERTICAL LIMIT (M)
CAST: Chris O'Donnell, Bill Paxton, Scott Glen, Robin Tunney,
Izabella Scorupco, Ben Mendelsohn, Steve Le Marquand, Robert Taylor, Nicholas Lea, Temuera Morrison
RUNNING TIME: 126 min
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia TriStar
DVD RELEASE: June 13 2001
SPECIAL FEATURES: Widescreen 2.35:1, Audio Commentary with
director Martin Campbell and Producer Lloyd Phillips, Behind the Scenes Featurette, Search and Rescue Tales. Languages: English, Hungarian. Subtitles:
English, Dutch, Polish (commentary track also subtitled in Dutch)