The Climbers review – stirring tribute to China's mountaineering hero
Bombastic and unsubtle this paean to Fang Wuzhou may be, but its vertiginous set-pieces put many US blockbusters to shame
Produced by celebrated spectacle-peddler Tsui Hark for co-writer/director Daniel Lee, this is the latest in a run of preposterously patriotic yet enjoyable Chinese event movies. It pays stirring tribute to Fang Wuzhou, a humble, Mallory-worshipping mountaineer who led a successful ascent of Everest in May 1960, declaring “the whole world will remember this day”.
Nobody really does, unfortunately. No doubt this is down to the loss of the expedition’s camera equipment during an avalanche, with the consequent shortfall in photographic evidence prompting some in the climbing community to have their doubts. The film compounds his nightmare by having Fang (Wu Jing) return to base camp to learn his beloved Ying (Zhang Ziyi) is departing to study meteorology in the Soviet Union.Continue reading...