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Summit of the Gods, The


Stars: Voices: Damien Boisseau, Eric Herson-Macarel, Elisabeth Ventura, Jerome Keen, Clyde Kusatsu, Ray Yamamoto, Brent Yoshida

Director: Patrick Imbert

I should confess right away that mountain-climbing dramas are just about my least favourite kind of film. This animation from France, based on a Manga classic, does little to enamour anyone to the genre, although some of its pictorial scenes, especially mountain storms, are very impressive. And there are clever touches elsewhere, such as a car's lights fading in the distance of a winding road.

But the human figures move jerkily and lack facial expression. And the desperate slogs up the sides of the great Everest are, well, a bit of a slog.

The story centres on the mysterious lone mountaineer Habu, who has not been seen for years, but is believed to be planning another attempt on a seemingly impossible route to Everest's summit. Photo-journalist Fukamachi, obsessed with finding out whether explorer Mallory reached the mountain's peak in the 1920s before failing to return, is offered a camera which has evidence to prove the truth.

Thinking it a scam, he is later shocked to see Habu taking the camera back by force from the seller. Three years later, he hears rumour of Habu's new expedition and determines to pursue. Hard to see an audience for all this, unless you're really into the climbing game, or are anxious to see what lifelike effects animation can achieve.

Briefly in cinemas, then on Netflix

David Quinlan

France 2021. UK Distributor: Netflix. Colour (unspecified).
95 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 28 Nov 2021