6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain: A Lackluster Delivery of an Otherwise Interesting Story
Josh HartnettMira Sorvino...
Action & AdventureDrama
In 1 Cinema
Rather painful and exhausting, the latest alone-in-the-frozen-wilderness survival tale, 6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain, lacks tension and credibility. Based on true events, the film tells the story of former professional hockey player, Eric LeMarque, who, after seeking some time alone with nature, finds himself stranded in the mountains for eight days during a fierce snowstorm. Written by Madison Turner and Need for Speed’s Scott Waugh, it’s a tiresome execution, which unfortunately fails to convey the true brutality and the ruthlessness of its premise.
Josh Hartnett plays the former hockey player in question who, as the story begins, is not only battling with drug addiction, but also facing a possible jail sentence for reckless driving. With the court date only 6 days away, Eric -also a keen snowboarder in his spare time- decides to head out to California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, in order to clear his head. Completely unaware of the approaching snowstorm, Eric, after choosing to derail from his usual decent route, soon finds himself disoriented and lost.
Lacking proper gear and food to survive, Eric soon begins to experience the worst of the freezing weather; fighting to stay warm, whilst also trying to keep his spinning thoughts in control. With no connection to the outside world, he knows he has only himself to rely on, but brutal and dangerous elements, like hungry wolves and withdrawal symptoms, soon come calling for him, forcing the young athlete to dig deep for the courage and will to survive. Meanwhile, his frantic mother, Susan (played by the ten-year-younger Mira Sorvino), is busy trying to convince the authorities to send a search party after her lost son.
Everything about the film is so cheesy that its makers, at every possible turn, try to downplay the seriousness and the harrowing aspects of the story. Despite his relatively decent and likeable performance, watching Hartnett trekking silently through the snowy mountain peaks doesn’t really make for an interesting or a compelling watch, whilst the flashbacks to his troubled childhood -dealing with an abusive father (played by David Cottle), who later abandoned him- is overly melodramatic and obvious in its intentions.
Stripped of any real conviction or emotional impact, the interesting and commendable story of survival, unfortunately, never received a noteworthy telling with the filmmakers constantly treading on clichéd and melodramatic territories a little too often. Add to that lack of suspense and expected visual brutality, 6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain, as a whole, is painfully a sanitized piece.