5.9/10
58,252
395 user 137 critic

Vertical Limit (2000)

A climber must rescue his sister on top of K2, one of the world's biggest mountains.

Director:

Martin Campbell

Writers:

Robert King (story), Robert King (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
3,530 ( 324)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chris O'Donnell ... Peter Garrett
Robin Tunney ... Annie Garrett
Stuart Wilson ... Royce Garrett
Augie Davis ... Aziz
Temuera Morrison ... Major Rasul
Roshan Seth ... Colonel Amir Salim
Alejandro Valdes-Rochin Alejandro Valdes-Rochin ... Sergeant Asim
Nicholas Lea ... Tom McLaren
Rod Brown Rod Brown ... Ali Hasan
Scott Glenn ... Montgomery Wick
Steve Le Marquand ... Cyril Bench
Ben Mendelsohn ... Malcolm Bench
Izabella Scorupco ... Monique Aubertine
Bill Paxton ... Elliot Vaughn
Ed Viesturs Ed Viesturs ... Self
Edit

Storyline

A high-adrenaline tale of young climber Peter Garrett, who must launch a treacherous and extraordinary rescue effort up K2, the world's second-highest peak. Confronting both his own limitations and the awesome power of nature's uncontrollable elements, Peter risks his life to save his sister, Annie, and her summit team in a race against time. The team is trapped in an icy grave at 26,000 feet - a death zone above the vertical limit of endurance where the human body cannot survive for long. Every second counts as Peter enlists the help of a crew of fellow climbers, including eccentric, reclusive mountain man Montgomery Wick, to ascend the chilling might of the world's most feared peak to save her. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Mountain Will Decide. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense life/death situations and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Ben Daniels was offered a role, but turned it down. See more »

Goofs

When pulling people out of crevasses, mountaineers are unlikely to just pull the rope with both hands (especially as their hands are freezing cold), since any mistake will result in the victim falling back and sustaining more injuries. (Incidentally, this is what happens in the movie quite frequently and contributes to the suspense). What they would do instead is use their accessory cords and carabiners to create a "mechanical advantage" system, and slowly lift the victim towards the lip of the crevasse in a controlled manner. See more »

Quotes

Annie Garrett: Peter, are you there? Peter?
Peter: Annie? Annie, is that you? Annie. Annie, what is it?
Annie Garrett: Where are you?
Peter: Five hours away.
Annie Garrett: I want you to go back. Don't risk it. There's no reason. I won't be here and neither will Tom.
Peter: How long?
Annie Garrett: An hour. Two at the most. Peter? Peter!
Peter: I'm here Annie.
Annie Garrett: I've been thinking. I've been thinking a lot about Dad. We shouldn't have gotten him a grave. We should have come up here together with his ashes. He said this is where he was the happiest. He was a climber. I think every real ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bad Girls: Episode #6.4 (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Take It to the Limit
Written by Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Randy Meisner
See more »

User Reviews

There's no limit to mountaineering melodramatics
16 June 2002 | by Philby-3See all my reviews

While mountaineering is one of the most exhilarating of sports it has produced little good fiction, and few good fictional movies, though there have been some excellent documentaries ('The Man who Skied Down Everest', the Imax 'Everest' film, for example). Somehow, when it comes to fiction, the clichés take over, and this film, with some genuinely gorgeous camera-work and impressive stunts, is full of them. The wealthy megalomaniac determined to conquer K2 at any cost, the climber who lost his nerve when his father was killed who pushes himself into action to save his sister, stuck in a crevass high up the mountain with the moneyed one, the bitter old man of the mountains who is essential to the rescue, the guide who has sold out, It's all there. One does expect some improbability of plot in a film like this, but the thought that someone might cart Pakistani Army liquid nitro-glycerine in back packs to the top of K2 to blast a crevasse open really was a bit much.

Apart from a very attractive opening sequence in Utah (Monument Valley, I think) the film was shot in the New Zealand Alps, with a few clips of the genuine Karkoram Himalaya spliced in. For this viewer, it brought back pleasant memories of climbing in the University holidays around the Southern Alps. But climbing is a dangerous sport; on one trip I was accompanied by four people, all of whom subsequently died in separate climbing accidents (one on Makalu, next to Everest). There is a fair amount of special effects malarky (no-one, not even Temuera Morrison pretending to be Pakistani, would fly an old military helicopter so close to a mountain wall at 21,000 feet), but there are also some genuinely stirring shots.

Unfortunately, the acting for the most part matches the script. Chris Connelly, good at sensitive young men, is wrong for the brother bent on rescue (it's more of a part for Bruce Willis), and Bill Paxton is only moderately menacing as the ruthless Richard Branson-style billionaire. In fact the only decent piece of acting is Scott Glenn's Wick, the veteran with attitude. The'comic' Australian climbing brothers, Ces and Cyril, or whatever their names were, were profoundly embarrassing – I guess Ben Mendelsohn will be hoping no-one will recognise him with a balaclava on his head. There were also lackluster performances from the two female leads, Robin Tunney and Izabella Scorupco. One of them, Scorupco, is an ex-Bond girl ('Goldeneye') – the casting people obviously didn't realise she was going to be spending the entire movie wrapped up in Gore-Tex. There's no sex at high altitude – it's too damned cold and anyway survival takes precedence over procreation.

I think Roger Ebert got it right on this one – a 'B' movie with an 'A' movie budget. There are all sorts of anomalies – the lack of visible water vapour issuing from the climbers, their sprightly behaviour even after hours at 26,000 feet, the use of north wall hammers to attack a rock/ice pitch, the miraculous helicopter piloting – but somehow the magnificence of those great peaks comes through. The worst thing about a movie like this is that it portrays the mountains as hellish, which is far from the truth. What is it the psalm says 'I will lift up mine eyes to the hills, from whence cometh my strength'? Climbing is one thing I have never regretted doing, and it would be a pity if people were put off the sport by stuff like this. Actually I think the people who do attempt peaks like K2 would see this film as preposterous, overblown Hollywood brown smelly stuff, and they'd be right. But there is some nice scenery.


92 of 123 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 395 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English | Urdu

Release Date:

8 December 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vertical Limit See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,507,845, 10 December 2000

Gross USA:

$69,243,859

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$215,663,859
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Everything That's New on Netflix in December

No need to waste time endlessly browsing—here's the entire lineup of new movies and TV shows streaming on Netflix this month.

See the full list



Recently Viewed