Idris Elba and Kate Winslet star in the survival-romance “The Mountain Between Us”, based on the novel by Charles Martin. It’s hard not to be tempted into seeing a film featuring these two amazing actors. However, what most likely worked in the source material (I haven’t read the book), doesn’t quite work in the cinematic adaptation.
Ben (Elba) is a neurosurgeon who needs to operate on a sick child. Alex (Winslet) is a photo-journalist who needs to get a flight home for her own wedding. With all airlines canceled do to an incoming storm, Alex convinces Ben to share a charter plane. When their pilot (Beau Bridges) suffers a stroke mid-flight, they crash into the snowy mountains. Walter (the pilot) didn’t survive, but his dog did, along with Ben and Alex.
After waiting days to be rescued, Alex, Ben and the dog head out on foot to look for help. With Alex’s injured leg, they must stop constantly to rest, but as the two spend weeks together alone in the wild, they wind up becoming closer.
Elba and Winslet are both phenomenal performers and for the most part they have great chemistry. The problem is, no matter how likable they are, I was unable to buy into their budding romance. The moment they became intimate within a dilapidated cabin, I had trouble staying with the narrative. Things get even more far-fetched in the film’s final act which I just couldn’t get behind.
J. Mills Goodloe has worked on screenplays for various romances like “The Age of Adaline” and “The Best of Me”, much like “The Mountains Between Us”, neither of them were very good. The direction from Hany Abu-Assad, is poorly paced and needlessly long. This isn’t a terrible film. I actually liked the first half quite a bit, but the romance elements just didn’t work at all here. Regardless, I wouldn’t mind seeing these two actors pair up again sometime in a better project.
By: Marc Ferman