Top positive review
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Good movie - great story
on December 31, 2003
The plot has been described in other reviews. Well acted and directed, this movie recounts a great survival story, comparable to Captain Bligh leading all but one of his crew to safety after about 3500 or so miles in a small open boat (book "Men Against The Sea"), or Richard Byrd surviving the Antarctic while seriously sick and injured (book "Alone").
The fact that anyone even made it through the initial crash, then tobogganing at about 200 MPH down a mountain in a portion of airplane fuselage is unbelievable by itself. Add the fact that many people, prepared about as well as you or I in our living rooms, lived for 70 days way up on a frozen mountainside, makes it even more fantastic.
To top it off, after weeks of planning and preparation, two of the fittest members hike around and down a 13,500 ft mountain, then trek 50 or 60 miles in 10 days through utter exhaustion, to finally reach help.
It is difficult to really imagine the hardship they went through, even though it is essentially laid out on screen. The days or weeks of planning seemingly small events, and meeting with disaster on most accounts (finding the tail portion with the radio batteries, then having to go back to get the radio because the batteries were too heavy to carry, then not being able to fix the radio, etc.) is bad enough. I can not think of anything worse than having to eat your dead friends, for 50 days in a row, to just get through another day.
I'm going to finish the last 20 pages of the book tonight. It has a few more grisly details than the movie, and some failed search-and-rescue details, and maybe a bit more character depth as well, but this is one instance where the movie is nearly as good as the book.
If you think YOU have it bad, watch this movie or read the book. Even athiests will thank God it never happened to them.