The Mountain Between Us

Kate Winslet went on a huge passenger liner with Leonardo DiCaprio. There was romance, but it didn’t end well. Now she’s traveling on an airplane with the even hunkier Idris Elba. There’s a plane crash after Beau Bridges has a stroke while flying it (that never would’ve happened with Jeff Bridges in control).

Perhaps Winslet should only travel with ugly folks.

Winslet and Elba have to survive the snowy mountains after the plane crash lands. It’s not just the elements to contend with, but also the injuries, animals, and hunger. And for the predictable scenarios that will pop up in the second half of the movie, the first half really gave you the sense of hopelessness and boredom that these characters are facing. You realize why Tom Hanks named his volleyball and started talking to it in Cast Away.

Winslet plays Alex, a photojournalist on her way home from an assignment. Elba is Ben, a neurosurgeon that needs to get back to Denver to perform an operation on a 9-year-old. The commercial flights are delayed, and Alex comes up with the idea of chartering a small plane. She had overheard him on the phone, and figures he’d be good to go halves with her. Obviously, neither of them figured it would be the actual plane that ends in halves.

We slowly start to find out more about the characters. Ben is pining for a woman he’s no longer with. Alex is stressed about her wedding, which is the following day. And just like real people on an airplane, it’s not like they’re becoming fast friends. Usually they’re speaking with each other in terms of survival, not a get-to-know you kind of thing. That felt refreshing and realistic. The problem is when the movie shoots for sentimentality and starts coming across like a Nicholas Sparks film for adults. My wife and I both disliked the final third of the movie, which is a shame, because we were onboard up until that point.

There’s beautiful location photography.

There’s a terrific dog that puts Lassie to shame.

Overall, it’s an average picture. I had hoped for a bit more considering the talents of Winslet and Elba.

2 ½ stars out of 5.