Parents' Guide to

Summit Fever

By Alistair Lawrence, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Climbing drama has frequent swearing, injury, and death.

Movie R 2022 115 minutes
Summit Fever movie poster

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Overlong and never quite finding its footing, this climbing drama is a story more interested in scaling the heights than going deep into character development and plot. Summit Fever's writer-director Julian Gilbey does a capable job of ramping up the drama for several set pieces, despite some of them clearly being shot on a modest budget. The movie has less of a sure grip on its people and pacing, though, with the first 30 minutes feeling like an overlong setup. The relationship that drives the climactic final act, between lead character Michael and his best friend JP, is obscured for a lot of the script, which leads to even more scenes that go up a mountain but arrive nowhere in particular.

Perhaps this was necessary to accommodate a cameo from Ryan Philippe, whose brusque Californian climber Theo appears to be Michael's nemesis before taking a different route. Similarly, the trauma Michael feels about the death of his climber sister also goes missing among the snow and ice. Gilbey's passion for climbing and love of climbers is the one thing that stays crystalline throughout. But the rest gets jumbled in a movie that can't decide whether it wants to be more like Point Break or Whiplash.

Movie Details

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