Movie Review: The ClimbQuick Plot Summary: Two mountain climbers, one a Christian and one not, go on the climb of their lives. Can be very much enjoyed by non-climbers.
Suggested Ages: 11+
This movie from Worldwide Pictures (the movie arm of the BGEA - Billy Graham Evangelistic Association) is a GREAT movie and definitely recommended! I was hesitant before even watching the film because there was another movie put out by the BGEA around the same time that I thought was a bit "hokey", overly predicatable, and superficial. So I was half-expecting to see similar with this film. But I am happy to report that I didn't!
This movie is relatively exciting, loaded with great messages (but NOT in an overly preachy way!), and just generally uplifting! Basically it's just a decent movie in its own right that also has great messages and themes in it. Besides the Gospel, which is presented in a very compelling way, themes of letting go/moving on, the harmfulness of broken families, the harmfulness of sex before marriage and not taking responsibility for your actions, the importance of integrity, and more, are very prevalent. And yet, despite all the positive themes and messages, they are all (including the Gospel) presented in such an engaging and relatively "real life" way that they don't really come across too "preachy". Thus, unlike some "Christian movies", this one could also be a good movie to watch with unbelievers.
This movie avoided many of the traps that some other Christian movies have fallen into. For one, it avoids many of the stereotypes you might expect. Even though the two main characters are a black man and a white man, race doesn't really come up in this movie - even though there is tension between the two characters, that tension comes out of the difference in worldview, not race. That right off the bat was refreshing to see. Another thing that I found intriquing is they showed Christians as real-life people! The main Christian character was a guy who genuinely believed and was trying to put his faith into practice, but even he needed to let go and move on in his life from an event that happened in his life a few years before. They even had the unbeliever speak a positive word to him that helped him! Then there's a portrayal of a Christian who really isn't living her life as she should and makes a life-changing mistake, and another Christian that struggles a bit with unforgiveness. Again, this movie broke many of the clichés and stereotypes that you might expect from a Christian movie - especially one put out by the BGEA - but that only helps further the messages that the movie works to showcase!
Although this movie is centered around two mountain climbers, there's a fair amount of screen time that doesn't actually take place on the mountain, so it's balanced. You can enjoy this movie even if you're not into mountain climbing. The production quality and acting in the movie is reasonable enough - the acting is a bit stilted in parts, but it's not bad by any means and is generally "believable enough".
Now, as for children younger than about age 11 seeing this: This movie is a bit intense in parts, and without giving anything away, there is a tragedy that would be hard for younger viewers to see. In addition, the sex before marriage, anger/unforgiveness at an absentee father, and some of the other themes, really probably aren't appropriate for young children.
Reviewed by Christopher Long,