AN UNINTENTIONAL COMEDY
Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD.
Like many movies with promising trailers, you expect this one to soar. Academy award nominated director? Check. Bankable movie stars, with one having an Academy Award under her belt? Check. Musical score from the same composer of Game of Thrones. Check.
The Mountain Between Us is based on a novel by Charles Martin. Directed by two time Oscar nominee Hany Abu-Assad (“Paradise Now, ” “Omar”) and stars Idris Elba and Oscar winner Kate Winslet.
Ben Bass (Elba) is a neurosurgeon attempting to fly to Baltimore from Idaho for a surgery he’s slated to perform on a young boy. Meanwhile, Alex Martin (Winslet) a restless and impulsive photojournalist is in a mad dash to reach New York City to marry her boyfriend the next day. However, their flights were cancelled. A plane was chartered in short order. No flight plan. Relatively elderly pilot. Surprise. Crash. Yep. The survivors were Ben, Alex, and the pilot’s dog who deserves an Oscar for Lifetime Achievement award for never going hungry.
Personalities clash as Ben’s calm and less adventurous demeanor irritates the impulsive Alex who wants to leave the wreckage to find help. As the movie progresses, I couldn’t help but imagine Alex as a modern day Rose DeWitt Bukater (the character Kate Winslet played in Titanic whose name I cannot believe I still remember) only even more supremely reckless and irritating. They travel by foot and encounter harsh environmental challenges. Surprisingly and conveniently, no avalanches. They both agree to stay together to stay alive. The recipe for predictable love story. Eye-roll.
Speaking of convenient, it was hilarious that a cabin materialized somewhere in the film, finally allowing Ben and Alex to have what I can only imagine to be wanton, gratuitous and malodorous sex (an observation I share with NYTimes movie critic Jeannette Catsoulis).
For all its script shortcomings, Elba and Winslet make a convincing couple. Elba being a gorgeous English doctor with a soulful gaze while Winslet’s performance harks back memories of Titanic’s Rose circa 2017. There wasn’t much chemistry and I believe it was intended that way as one wasn’t expecting to fall in love with the other.
As far as plane crashes go, this one is pretty uneventful compared to other plane crash films like “Alive.” Despite the beautiful stars and breathtakingly beautiful–albeit desolate and hostile environment, the film failed to deliver what the trailer promised.
3 out of 5 stars.