But this is no piece of pop culture camp -- this is a serious melodrama about mountainclimbing and God, courtesy of World Wide Pictures, aka The Motion Picture Ministry of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Unbeknownst to me, Billy's quite a movie producer -- with such recent titles as Something to Sing About and the Rat Race-takeoff Road to Redemption.
The Climb is Billy's version of Vertical Limit, with two at-odds climbers given a chance to climb Mt. Chicanagua in Chile (which is apparently a very big mountain) all at the behest of the owner of a Wal-Mart-ish chain of stores, Mack Leonard (Coleman), who is using the boys as a publicity stunt. Derrick (Jason George) is a daring all-me type, without a care in the world and nothing but enmity for everyone around him. But Ned (Michael Harris, the spitting image of a younger David Caruso) is a sad widower, believing in safety first and teamwork -- and of course, he's a huge fan of good old J.C. These two are forced to work together on the treacherous climb -- and they don't have an easy time of it, but see if you can guess who'll make a symbolic personal sacrifice... and who'll make a dramatic conversion to Christianity before it's all over.
Sure, it's a Billy Graham production, but to be honest, I've seen far worse movies. Thankfully this is a far cry from apocolyptic nonsense like Left Behind, and while the religion can get thick, it's not generally the focus of the film.
To be sure, The Climb will appeal strictly to the Born Again crowd (and fans of Todd "Willis" Bridges!), but it's about time the ultra-religious right got a movie they can be proud of.
Climbing every mountain...
Run time: 55 mins
In Theaters: Sunday 5th May 2013
Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5
IMDB: 8.3 / 10
Director: John Schmidt
Producer: John Shepherd