Vertical Limit: Wikis

  
  

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Vertical Limit

Vertical Limit poster
Directed by Martin Campbell
Produced by Martin Campbell
Robert King
Marcia Nasatir
Lloyd Phillips
Written by Robert King (story)
Robert King & Terry Hayes (screenplay)
Starring Chris O'Donnell
Robin Tunney
Scott Glenn
Izabella Scorupco
Bill Paxton
Music by James Newton Howard
Cinematography David Tattersall
Editing by Thom Noble
Distributed by Columbia TriStar
Release date(s) December 8, 2000
Running time 124 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $75 million
Gross revenue $215,663,859[1]

Vertical Limit is a 2000 thriller action film directed by New Zealander Martin Campbell (GoldenEye, Casino Royale, The Mask of Zorro) starring, among others, Chris O'Donnell, Bill Paxton, Robin Tunney and Scott Glenn. The film was shot on several locations including Monument Valley, New Zealand and Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan.

Contents

Plot

Peter Garrett (O'Donnell) is a wildlife photographer and retired climber who a few years earlier caused his father to fall off a cliff face and plummet to his death in order to save his sister and his own lives (following his Dad's orders). Peter hasn't been able to move on and has subsequently retired from climbing and continued with his photography instead. Peter's sister Annie (Tunney) has become a renowned mountain climber. Peter happens to show up at base camp as Annie attempts to climb K2 in Pakistani Kashmir, the world's second highest mountain, which is very dangerous to climb because of the tough conditions which await at the summit. The expedition is funded by wealthy industrialist Elliot Vaughn (Paxton) who is also going to climb, with the help of his friend Tom McLaren (Lea). There is a huge party the night before the climbers begin the trek. Vaughn is introduced to Peter, who he asks to accompany them on the trip, but Peter instantly refuses.

The climb turns out to be a disaster as the windy conditions begin to wreak havoc among the travellers. Annie, Vaughn, and Tom fall through a patch of ice and become trapped in a cavern. Annie radios back to base using Morse code and Peter learns of Annie's plight. He assembles together a rescue mission with the base's best climbers including brothers Cyril and Malcolm (Le Marquand and Mendelsohn), Monique Aubertine (Scorupco), Kareem Nazir (Siddig) and Skip Taylor (Taylor). However, the day before the rescue mission goes underway. Skip and Peter go visit Montgomery Wick, reported to be the world's best climber, and who has climbed K2, and Everest many times without oxygen. After an awkward conversation with Wick, he agrees to go and Peter sees Wick's bare feet without toes. Skip is unable to go as Wick says he needs him on the ground directing the mission.

The teams pair off: Malcolm and Kareem (much to Malcolm's dismay), Monique and Cyril and Peter and Wick. They each split up and take different entry points of the mountain. Cyril constantly "flirts" with Monique (much to her dismay). Malcolm and Kareem have awkward conversations which Malcolm points to wanting to complete the mission faster. Monique and Cyril enter trouble when Cyril looses his balance and clings to the side of a cliff. After Monique secures her harness to him, the peak cracks and Monique also falls over the edge and the nitro falls from Cyril's backpack and creates a huge explosion that the other teams notice. Cyril is able to climb back up, however, while he cheers arrogantly lowering a harness for Monique, they both hear a rumbling noise. The explosion and crackling has in fact started an avalanche and is heading straight for Cyril. Cyril, unable to do anything watches and screams helplessly as the avalanches swamps him and subsequently throws him over the edge of the peak. Monique, still hanging onto the edge, manages to survive and get back onto the peak. She then radios in and informs base that Cyril has been killed, but orders them not to tell Malcolm yet.

Back at the station, nitroglycerin, used to clear rock formations etc., comes into contact with the sun and reacts and subsequently explodes, completely dumbfounding the crew. Base tell the groups to get their cases of nitroglycerin into the shade to avoid an explosion. Monique teams up with Peter and Wick and they successfully manage to avoid a calamity. Malcolm and Kareem just manage to get the nitroglycerin into the shade. They start to laugh in relief, not knowing the nitroglycerin can is leaking and it is exposed to the sun and both of them are killed in the explosion. Monique, Wick, and Peter witness the explosion.

Meanwhile, underground, Annie begins to suffer from pulmonary edema, when water begins to form inside of the lungs, and she will die unless given medical attention. Tom is in a more severe state, with his leg and ribs broken. Vaughn is the only one unharmed and possesses the medical kit. Annie pleads with him to use dexamethasone (colloquially referred to in the movie as "Dex") to save Tom and herself, but Vaughn declines, unwilling to waste it on a "lost cause". More to the fact, Vaughn doesn't want to die and believes he and Annie have the best chance of survival.

During the trek the next day, Monique comes across a woman's body frozen in the ice that has been uncovered due to the second explosion. As she gets closer, Wick instantly recognizes the body and tells Monique not to touch her; it is his own wife. After Wick collects a ring and an empty box that contained "dex" from his wife's body, he tells Peter that Elliot Vaughn is responsible for his wife's death because he mentioned that the "dex" was swept away and there wasn't any for anyone, but Wick's wife always kept it on her, and the empty box proves Vaughn used it for himself and so Wick plans to kill him on the mountain. Peter and Monique begin to grow close and there is a hinted romance. As night comes Vaughn kills Tom by sticking Tom with a syringe of air to save the dex for himslef.

Annie radios Peter and tells him that she won't survive much longer and that he should save himself and turn back; he and Monique instead continue on their own early while Wick is sleeping. Wick wakes up to see them gone and Peter and Monique, having continued trekking up the mountain, soon find the place where Annie and Vaughn are imprisoned. They effectively use the nitroglycerin to destroy a huge chunk of the ice and creating a hole, enabling access to the survivors below. As Peter attempts to rescue Annie and Vaughn, the harness begins to become loose and is about to come out when Wick arrives and puts it back in. Wick descends into the cave and harnesses Annie again, and though Vaughn thinks he is about to attack him, Wick attaches a harness to him as well, and along with Peter (with Monique towing the rope), they manage to pull Annie up with Wick and Vaughn still harnessed underneath.

As they pull Annie up a large clump of snow is dislodged and Annie, Peter, Wick and Vaughn are all left hanging with just Monique supporting all their weight. With Vaughn below him, Wick understands they cannot be pulled up and decides to sacrifice himself, despite Vaughn shrieking at him not to. Wick cuts the rope with a knife, and both he and Vaughn fall to their deaths. Annie is saved and the film ends with her safely recovering at base camp and she reconciles with her brother. The film ends as Peter pays his respects at a memorial for those killed on K2, including Wick, Kareem, brothers Cyril and Malcom, guide Tom McLaren, and Wick's wife.

Main cast

Aside from the main cast, professional mountaineer Ed Viesturs has a cameo in the film, playing himself as a trainer.[2]

Box office

The film opened at #2 at the North American box office, making $15.5 million USD in its opening weekend behind The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

References

External links








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