Saturday, May 7, 2011

K2- The Ultimate High

One of the first mountaineering movies that I saw. Its goes along the usual plot with two friends, one is a family man, the other a sort of playboy and they make a great team. Wonderful movie once they start climbing K2. It bores you a bit in between but the part about the trek to base camp is necessary to really show what an expedition is all about. It all begins with getting to the base camp and them taking one step at a time from there. Some sequences are really mind blowing. The one scene where he is running up the stairs of his office and then working out in his office while working shows how mountaineers really have to prepare to get in shape to be able to climb so high.
The Plot Taylor Brooks (Michael Biehn) and Harold Jameson (Matt Craven) are white-collar professionals by weekday, and accomplished mountain climbers on weekends. Though they share a love for scaling mountains, the two friends are somewhat opposites in their personal lives. Taylor is a thrill-seeking attorney and womanizer, while Harold is a married, level-headed scientist. On a climb, the pair encounter billionaire Phillip Claiborne (Raymond J. Barry), who is accompanied by a team of fellow climbers. They explain they are testing equipment for a major Himalyan expedition but don't reveal the peak. Brooks meets a climber he remembers from law school, Dallas. That night, two of Claiborne's team ignore Harold's warnings of an impending avalanche and are killed when snow careens down the mountain. Claiborne and the other survivors are rescued only thanks to the quick action of Taylor and Harold. With a hole left in his climbing crew, Taylor begs Claiborne to take him and Harold to join him on his next climb - K2, the second highest peak in the world. Claiborne finally relents and allows the two to join his team. The entire team heads to the Karakoram and starts the climb successfully, though Taylor butts heads with Dallas while Harold has guilt over leaving his wife to participate. As the ascent continues, the team runs into trouble when their Balti porters strike (mirroring the real-world experiences of several expeditions in the 1970s) and Claiborne becomes ill with altitude sickness. A four-man team (Taylor, Harold, Dallas and Japanese climber Takane) continue the summit with minimal gear. They are stopped when Claiborne makes the decision (talking via radio) to only allow two men to make the final summit, while two wait behind at the high camp. Dallas chooses Takane as the second man to go, and they leave, amidst protest from Taylor and Harold. Later, Takane returns to the tents after a bad fall, in severe hypothermia, dying soon after.
Taylor and Harold decide to try for the summit themselves. After a grueling journey, the pair finish the climb and celebrate. Their happiness is short-lived, however, as Harold slips on the descent and badly breaks his leg. The pain is unbearable and he cannot be moved. Luckily, Taylor soon comes cross Dallas' frozen body, as well as his supply of epinephrine (adrenaline) kept on hand. Taylor injects Harold with morphine and then begins to lower his friend to safety, several dozen feet at a time. Despite Harold's pleas, Taylor refuses to abandon him and continue alone. They continue to descend until they reach a ridge, where a helicopter comes into view. The men are saved and celebrate.
Director: Franc Roddam Writers: Patrick Meyers (play), Patrick Meyers(screenplay), and 1 more credit » Stars: Michael Biehn, Matt Craven and Annie Grindlay
You can watch the whole movie below

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