October 25, 2017

The Mountain Between Us: Plane Crash Survivors Bond While Battling the Elements

By Kam Williams

Bride-to-be Alex Martin (Kate Winslet) is anxious to return home where she and her fiancé (Dermot Mulroney) are scheduled to be married in the morning. The only reason the dedicated photojournalist was in Idaho so close to her wedding was because of her sense of duty to cover a demonstration by skinheads and neo-Nazis. Elsewhere, in the same airline terminal, Dr. Ben Bass (Idris Elba) is just as eager to get to Denver because he’s urgently needed to perform life-saving surgery on a critically-ill child.

Imagine their frustration when they learn that their commercial flight has been canceled due to a forecast of inclement weather. The two strangers commiserate over their plight and decide to charter a private plane.

Unfortunately, their pilot (Beau Bridges) has a fatal heart attack and the plane crashes  on top of a snow capped mountain. Their cell phones are useless and Ben — with broken ribs, and Alex — with a fractured leg, are stranded in the mountains far from civilization.

The Mountain Between Us is a harrowing tale of survival based on the Charles Martin bestseller of the same name. The visually captivating production is superficially reminiscent of The Revenant.

The movie is mostly about the protagonists’ battle against the elements when they are lost in the frigid wilderness and are miles from civilization. During their perilous trek they negotiate their way through a treacherous gauntlet that has cougars, slippery cliffs, and lakes with thin ice, to name a few.

The film also has a romantic angle, because Ben and Alex gradually grow fond of each other during their ordeal. As a result, the burning question becomes whether these feelings will continue once they’re saved. After all, he’s married and she’s engaged.

Very Good (***). Rated PG-13 for sexuality, peril, injury images, and brief profanity. Running time: 103 minutes. Production Studio: Chernin Entertainment. Distributor: 20th Century Fox.