Sir Edmurd Hillary once quote that 'It's not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves'. It was a mountain of a task to make a 3D docudrama about Sir Edmund Hillary's historical ascent of Mount Everest in 1953. Director Leanna Pooley kinda pull it off. It was pretty entertaining to watch. The movie feature a lot of dramatized recreations shots on location on Mount Everest and in New Zealand's Mount Cook for this film. The locations used are just breath-taking. The movie features actor Chat Moffitt as Edmurd Hillary and Sonam Sherpa as his helper, Tenzing Norgay in the main roles. The actors that was used in the recreation, really look like the actual people that climb the mountain. Both Chat Moffitt and Sonam Sherpa look like they are season-climbers, as well. They're not afraid of doing all the stunt work, and hard climb on the terrain. The film also include a lot of original footage and photograph of the 1953 British expedition. While, there's not a lot of real filmed footage of the expedition; we do see a little of what there is. Some of these footage is being shown for the first time in a long time. I wouldn't say the 3D docudrama scale new heights. The 3D is rarely used, but it did look stunning. I was on the edge of my seat, the whole time. The movie was somewhat intense. It shows what Hillary had to deal with, such as slow ascent with the usual challenges of rapidly-declining oxygen and impending monsoons that could make the weather on the mountain worst. Then, there was the moment of nearly slipping over an edge. All the action are all authentic depiction of the events. The movie is nearly humorless, but there was a funny sequence of weird inventions to help the climbers get to the mountain. The information being put out was great for the most part. I love the use of maps, and graphs to show where the climbers were at. The way, the camera zoom in and out from the mountains exterior shots, makes it look like the actors are really there. I do like that the movie try to be cutting edge creativity with its shots. There is a scene where Edmund Hillary talks about his time as a beekeeper. Throughout the movie, the bees appear both in archive photos, and in the recreations scenes. It's kinda annoying because the bees pester you when you're trying to look at the photos. The movie goes in a measured pace, but there were a few things that wasn't needed for the film. I felt the movie pacing slow down, when the flashbacks came in. Honestly, do we really need to know that Hillary was apparently bullied at school? Also, the flashback effects are blurry and bright as hell, making the 3D look bad. Honestly, I had to take off my glasses because it was giving me a headache, when those really short scenes pop up. These information flashback are so short, and useless, that it should had been cut from the film. The intercutting with shots work with the pace, because the director takes her cue from other documentary films such 2010 'Senna' by completely doing away with talking heads studio footage, and instead capturing the story entirely with the voices-over explaining what's happen on screen. She really did get a lot of good narrations. Not only from the men who were actually there, but the family of both Ed Hillary and Tenzing. There were a few select mountain experts, also there to explain, why Mount Everest is a dangerous mountain to climb. The only voice over that didn't sound right is Ed Hillary. You can still, heard the radio noise in the background when he speaks, taken from old radio broadcasting of 1953 The Conquest of Everest. I would had thought, the sound editors would clean that up, a little bit more. Overall: The movie doesn't have the suspense of 2003's documentary, Touching the Void, or the mystery of 2010's the Wildest Dream. The movie felt like TV docudrama on the History Channel or Discovery, more than a movie, you watch in theaters. Still, it was alright. It was very informative, and works outs fine. A must-watch for any documentary lover.
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