By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
You’ll be seeing a lot more of Idris Elba
in the coming months on the big and small screen (“Thor: Ragnarok” and TV’s “The Dark World” series) and that’s a very good thing.
Elba’s latest movie, “The Mountain Between Us,”
from director Hany Abu-Assad (“The Idol” and “Omar”) is a gripping, survivalist love story.
“The Mountain Between Us” also stars Oscar winning actress Kate Winslet
and is based on the novel of the same name by Charles Martin.
This high flying adventure begins when neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Bass (Elba) arrives at an airport somewhere out west and discovers his flight--actually all outgoing flights--have been cancelled due to a winter storm.
That’s a huge problem for Dr. Bass since he must be in Baltimore to perform an emergency operation. He pleads his case to the airline counter agent, but he tells him that there’s really nothing they can do other than provide him a complimentary guest voucher to stay at a hotel and he can try again the following day.
Meanwhile, another passenger is freaking out too. Renowned photojournalist, Alex Martin (Winslet) is getting married in New York and now she’s stuck and is being given the same spiel about staying overnight.
Alex overhears Dr. Bass' conversation with the airline agent and introduces herself to the doctor and has an idea. She suggests they charter a private plane. It’s worth a try. But if the big airplanes aren’t going up in the friendly skies because of inclement weather, should they hop in a small one?
Sometimes it’s best to trust your old gut instinct. But they don’t.
Dr. Bass and Alex wind up contacting a gruff, yet friendly charter pilot named Walter (Beau Bridges, “Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero” and “Bloodline”). He’s a cocky one too. Walter tells them that he flew F-5s in Vietnam and storms don’t bother him. If no one is shooting at him he can fly through anything.
So, Dr. Bass, Alex, Walter and his beautiful yellow golden retriever dog hop in—no flight plan mind you--and they’re off.
Within 10 minutes or so, they experience some turbulence. Even worse, Walter becomes motionless and suffers a stroke. Seriously.
Seconds later, they’ve plowed into a snowy mountainside in the Rockies. The doctor is OK, the dog is fine, but Alex busted up her foot and leg pretty good.
There’s little food, although lots of water with all the ice around, but they’ll either freeze to death if they can’t find a way to get off the mountain. It’s a horrendous situation.
They nearly fall off a cliff. Alex is almost attacked by a cougar and finds herself literally on thin ice and Dr. Bass gets caught in a bear trap. For everyone wondering, no, they don’t eat the dog to survive.
Despite their differences, Alex and Dr. Bass begin to open up and become even more protective of each other. Their personal lives aren’t quite what we initially believe and what inevitably leads to their hot, romantic interlude.
Without the star power of Elba and Winslet, “The Mountain Between Us” would be just another sappy, overwrought and disposable lightweight made for TV drama. Yet, with this talented duo--who are so likeable and worth rooting for—they elevate the movie with just the right amount of sentimentality and dramatic flair.
Be sure to catch my N2Entertainment.net movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays at 6:40 p.m. on radio station KFBK 1530 AM and 93.1 FM.
Take A Peek At This Trailer For "THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association (BFCA), the Black Reel Awards Voting Academy and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.