The Mountain Between Us
Idris Alba, Kate Winslet, Beau Bridges, Dermot Mulroney
FilmInk rates movies out of $20 — the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
…a passable but bland romantic drama…
Splitting a cab can be a fraught proposition – splitting a charter plane exponentially more so. Still, needs must, and when bad weather conditions strand them in Salt Lake City, that’s what neurosurgeon Ben Bass (Idris Elba) and photojournalist Alex Martin (Kate Winslet) do. He’s got a patient to get back to, while she’s getting married to good old Mark (Dermot Mulroney, wasted in a completely thankless role). Both their plans must be put on hold when their pilot, Walter (Beau Bridges) suffers a stroke and they plough into the side of a mountain.
With no flight plan filed and their emergency beacon broken, the two, both injured, must find a way back to civilisation. But will they find time to fall in love in between the animal attacks, treacherous ice crossings, and the ever-present threat of starvation? Well of course, and that is why we are here.
The tremendous charisma wielded by Elba and Winslet just about keeps The Mountain Between Us afloat for the first three quarters of its running time, abetted by gorgeous locations and the presence of Walter’s nameless dog, who also survived the crash. Indeed, their chemistry is such that it even occasionally distracts us from the sheer illogical silliness of the proceedings, which marry what is, let’s face it, a pretty weak survival drama with a rather hackneyed love story (he’s carrying old emotional wounds, she has a steadfast but boring fella waiting for her back home – you know the drill). The absurdity of the situation is, in fact encapsulated by the mutt, who is having a grand old time bounding through the snow while Idris and Kate are down to individual almonds for sustenance. Unbelievably, neither of them even once floats the idea of field-dressing Fido, or wondering what the hell he must be eating…
Still, it all ticks along reasonably entertainingly until we hit a final act that is not only devoid of anything resembling surprise or dramatic irony, but instead spins its wheels and delays a narrative climax for no discernible reason than padding out the running time. For 90 minutes The Mountain Between Us is a passable but bland romantic drama, but for the back 20 it’s insultingly dumb, and unfortunately that’s the feeling you’ll be carrying out of the cinema if you get along to this one.