The Chinese mountain-climbing adventure “The Climbers
” works best when it’s an old-fashioned macho melodrama about the hardships faced by the first mountaineering team to document their summit of Mount Everest’s treacherous North-side in 1975.
In these scenes, writer-director Daniel Lee (“Black Mask
”) and his colleagues deliver a less flamboyant but equally nationalistic mountain-climbing answer to “Top Gun
,” one that’s mostly focused on the camaraderie and heartbreak that the (predominantly male) National Mountaineering Team faces whenever their stubborn but resourceful leaders Wuzhou Fang and Qu Songlin (Zhang Yi) press on in the face of avalanches, snow drifts, and other killer weather conditions.
Most action set pieces — which are the movie’s biggest selling point, given its IMAX
presentation here in America — are marred by cheap-looking computer graphics and image-compositing, especially whenever the mountaineering team is super-imposed on the side of Everest during helicopter or crane shots. But impressive sound design,