A construction conglomerate, headed by a ruthless millionaire, wants to buy a ski resort that's been a family business for years, but the family doesn't want to sell. The businessman, ...
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A construction conglomerate, headed by a ruthless millionaire, wants to buy a ski resort that's been a family business for years, but the family doesn't want to sell. The businessman, incensed that anyone would dare turn him down, resolves to get the property, whether they want to sell it or not. Written by
This film, made for Canadian television, co-produced with the B.B.C. and a German company, is promoted as being a "true story" about a Canadian man, Jake Striker (August Schellenberg) who pioneered the recreation of heliskiing, wherein helicopters lift skiiers to tops of slopes in undeveloped country, and of his struggle to retain his mountain-based lodge while preserving pristine Canadian Rocky Mountain areas from a developer who is taking steps to disfigure (ski lifts, swimming pools, etc.) natural beauty for the sake of financial profit. Filmed for the most part in and near Jasper, Alberta (and a lodge in British Columbia), for less than $2.5 million by local producers and featuring a largely Canadian cast, the work suffers from an essential shortcoming: approbation of helicopter usage in the Rockies, where the highly polluting fuel alone costs $2000 an hour to keep the machines aloft, a situation most conservationists must find rather trying to accept. Also troublesome is a lack of any character with whom one might feel sympathy, probably not Striker himself, who as presented seems to be merely a poor hand at running his business and an indifferent parent, certainly not the grasping developer, Jim McKay, (well-played by Leslie Nielsen), nor any of the secondary characters, most of whom are prey to the commonplace script (including an obligatory avalanche). To the good, the cinematography of Richard Leiterman, also responsible for the mountaineering classic THE CLIMB, is outstanding, not only as it honours the magnificent vistas, but also for the well-edited and directed downhill skiing footage; unfortunately, this brings to mind a constant in cinema: 'tis a bad sign when the scenery, not the story, is memorable.
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