Movie Review Of "The Mountain Between Us"

The film, “The Mountain Between Us” is a dog, survival, and romance movie directed by Hany Abu-Assad, a Dutch Palestinian film director (Rana’s Wedding, Paradise Now, Omar, The Idol). This 112 minute long plane crash movie took place in the High Uintas Wilderness Utah mountains (actually filmed in British Columbian mountains), some ranging over 13,000 feet high. The two main characters, Dr. Ben Bass, a black neurosurgeon (Idris Elba, No Good Deed, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Star Trek Beyond), and Alex Martin, a white Photojournalist (Kate Winslet, Titanic, The Dressmaker, Collateral Beauty, Wonder Wheel, All the King’s Men) are the only two passengers along with a dog on a two engine commuter plane. They are stranded at an airport in Boise, Idaho while each has an emergency need to get to their destination, Denver, – she is scheduled to marry her fiancé, and he for a needed surgery.  They manage to hire a private charter plane flown by an experienced pilot, Walter (Beau Bridges, Underground Kids, Dirty Politics, Lawless Range). Walter is in a rush, and does not file a flight plan.  He also brings along his yellow Labrador dog.  Initially, the flight seemed sort of normal with some upsetting turbulence due to an approaching storm.  Then, suddenly as the flight is heading into mountains, Walter suffers some sort of seizure – probably a heart attack, and dies. They manage to land on a small mountain ridge, and Alex suffers some leg damage. The dog and Ben do not appear injured. They have very little in the way of supplies, and cell phones do not work. Ben buries Walter in the small plateau.  Initially, they think they will be rescued.  They try signaling a high flying passenger jet, but to no avail.

Over Ben’s objections, Alex decides to strike out on her own, hoping to find a way down the mountain for help.  Ben catches up with her, and in spite of the cold and snow depth, they manage to make it down the mountain to the tree line which should be closer for help.  The dog also helps find better paths. Ben has just stumbled upon a deserted cabin when Alex breaks through some ice into ice cold deep water, and yells to Ben for help. He manages to rescue her, and they find shelter in the cabin for a time. During this period, they seem to be somewhat falling in love. They move on. At one point when both seemed to be succumbing to the cold and were sleeping against a tree, the dog helped to wake and save them.  Ben gets his leg caught in a hidden bear trap, but she does not have the strength to free him.  In going for help, Alex finds a road, and waves down a logging truck.  They are finally rescued.  Initially, it appears everything will go back to normal... This movie is recommended for older youth and on up.

Bob Rittenhouse

I am mostly retired.  Have had careers as a librarian, high school and college teacher, scientist in the life sciences and information science, occasionally work as a Cuyahoga County Board of Elections poll worker, work as a volunteer at Cleveland Metroparks, and have a little consulting business, Rittenhouse Info Trak.

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Volume 13, Issue 24, Posted 3:19 PM, 12.19.2017