True life people-in-peril films have been a staple of TV movies for decades and there have been several notable theatrical releases over the years with films like Sully, 127 hours, and Alive! and the forthcoming Daniel Radcliffe starrer ‘Jungle’ is not far off. For an actor they can be a godsend especially if they’re solo starrers as all focus is on them with often little if any dialogue to learn. Payday! And that’s what happens here with ‘6 Below:Miracle on the Mountain’ where Josh Hartnett, who also produces, plays the real life Eric Marque an ice hockey player with attitude and addled with drug abuse issues. Having stormed off his team’s training session he stomps off to stay with his Mum played by an almost unrecognisable Mira Sorvino whose now of an age where she seems destined to play older mums for the foreseeable future. So after yet another hissy fit he storms off into the snow covered mountains on his own to a log and go snowboarding. Belligerent as ever he takes a dangerous snow run just as a storm is about to break. So it comes as no surprise except to him that h gets lost and is unable to find his way back to safety through the vast mountain rang. The rest of film is made up of the perils he encounters so what follows is the seemingly obligatory check list that must be worked through. Wolves? Check. Failing mobile phone signal? Check. Falling through an ice covered lake? Check. In that respect it is extremely formulaic.
Josh Hartnett has never really been a dynamic screen presence and the atmosphere vacuum that is his screen charisma is hardly helped by playing a character being an arrogant, self pitying, temper tantrum of a man which makes him less than sympathetic regardless of his current plight. Frankly only his mother would love him which is just as well with the story as it unfolds here because no one else would make any effort to rescue him. At an hour minutes long it seems longer and is slowed down further by flashbacks which slow it down further and show him in an even less sympathetic light though ultimately as this is a story of redemption it’s understandable. The fact that this is based on a book by Eric Marque whose real life story this is its no surprise as to whether he gets rescued and it ends with a lumpen, lead fisted motivational speech about overcoming adversity which goes right over the heads of the bunch of 7 year olds its being given to.
This is not a bad film by any stretch of the imagination just a bit boring.
Here’s the trailer…….