Vertical Limit


Hold Your Breath

Jurassic Mark

SCORE: 1 Star

Vertical limit made me sleepy. I wanted to investigate my "horizontal limit." But, for the sake of Movie Pit, I watched the entire picture and didn't kick Drunken Master out of my apartment. I would like to make an official notice: Drunken Master is no longer able to bring DVD's over to mi casa. Well, I suppose he can bring them, but unless we're going to play Frisbee shotgun, they shall serve no purpose.

Our movie begins with a majestic shot of an eagle (or some large bird) soaring majestically through mountain peeks. Then the camera closes in on the bird and we see that it is some kind of either crappy CGI creation, or an animatronic puppet. Whatever it is, it ain't a bird. This sets the tone for Vertical Limit. The film never strings together five believable minutes.

The obligatory opening trauma sequence is a rip-off of the obligatory opening trauma sequence from Sylvester Stallone's Cliffhanger (a masterpiece compared to Vertical Limit). Father, along with son Peter (Chris O'Donnell) and daughter Annie (Robin Tunney) are enjoying a family climb. Unforeseeable events unfold and Peter is forced to allow his father to plunge to his death so that brother and sister can survive. Ahh, the dangers of climbing.

Flash forward "x" number of years. Peter is now a National Geographic photographer in Pakistan (they have big mountains there). Annie is a hot-shot climber ready to assist billionaire Elliot (Bill Paxton) tackle the mother of all mountains: K-2.
Then an incredible explosion occurs. I'm referring to a "population explosion." In the first twenty minutes of Vertical Limit we are introduced to (at least) fifteen characters. Ten of these characters are superfluous. They have a destiny with death. In the grand tradition of Hollywood, most of the foreigners die first (even though some are more experienced climbers).

One of the strangest characters in Vertical Limit is Montgomery (Scott Glenn). Montgomery is some sort of mountain climbing guru who travels around K-2 in search of the body of his dead wife. He's not good; he's not evil. However, Montgomery does possess one amazing ability. He is able to shave a twenty-year-old beard with a straight razor (sans shaving cream) without irritating his skin. I'm thinking Montgomery should shimmy down K-2 and become a professional barber.

In an obvious plot development, Annie, Elliot, and a character destined to die become trapped near the summit of K-2. For no logical reason, Peter takes over the rescue attempt. Even though he's not part of the team, that's HIS SISTER up there. The clean-shaven Montgomery is enlisted only because the screenplay says he should.

Vertical Limit contains a ridiculous sub-plot involving defective Pakistani nitroglycerin. The rescue team needs the explosives to kill everyone the screenplay wants dead and save Annie. In the movie's worst scene, the rescue team finds the climbers trapped in a crevice. Peter alerts his sister by tossing a piece of paper into the cavern labeled "bang." Conveniently, Annie catches the paper. Never mind that both parties have walkie-talkies, or that their proximity warrants the use of vocal chords.

One day, evolution will weed out lame screenwriters like Robert King and Terry Hayes. People like director Martin Campbell will go the way of the Dodo. Unfortunately, I'll be long dead before that ever happens. Bang.

Drunken Master

SCORE: 6 Beers

I unlike JM enjoyed this flick based on it's "Cheese appeal". No, Cliffhanger this was not. However it had it's own shitty flair that can only be described as Shaite. Chris O'donnell or however the fuck you spell this spare's ass name hasn't had a 'hit' that he could call his own in his entire acting career. The only notable ones where he was a major contributor is Circle of Friends, and Scent of a woman. Now he's had a couple of ensemble token roles here and there. But let's look at his big budget movies.......Batman Forever, and Batman Returns.....well shit let's not go there, let's go down a level to, Three Musketeers, and Mad Love with Drew Barrymore. Does this guy deserve a big budget action movie? No fucking way, therefore I digest, ingest, consume, drink, inhale, conceptualize that this movie is not supposed to be taken seriously. THIS IS A SHITTY MOVIE, but it's entertaining. Why.....well I could debate JM for awhile in a drunken state, and maybe come up on top.....But that's not what Drunken Master is about. You want quality acting, check out some local Shakespearean troupe. But if you want to check out a Vulcan eyebrowed bitch who can't act her way out of a urine lined bag of pig vomit, only to be one-upped by the acting-ubergod of Bill Paxton (See Twister for acting equivalent) than this is your movie. It sucks, but it doesn't suck. Shit, you know I'm drunk when I ramble like this, I could go on for hours on different time lines and tangents. But I think I'll just go pass out. Till the next ramble.

Darth Buzz

I just thought I would note that this movie shares the same tag line as Daylight which is a major ass whipping.  "Hold your breath" leads me to believe that I would smell shit if I didn't hold my breath.  Maybe there is an advertising company with a perverse sense of humor out there doing movie tag lines.