Photo courtesy of CJ Entertainment
Imagine you are a mountaineer, climbing up the dangerous Himalayas, risking your life in below freezing temperatures in order to make it to the peak. Although you have your team of companions right next to you, a single wrong step could send all of you tumbling down the vast slopes into oblivion. Such a tense event is perfectly chronicled in the winter adventure thriller “The Himalayas,” directed by Lee Seok Hoon.
Premiered on December 16th in South Korea, and released in the US on January 1st, it has dominated the domestic box office, beating the likes of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” It’s no wonder, as the adventure film portrays the harrowing journeys of mountaineers as they try to climb the tallest peaks of the Himalayas.
Seasoned captain Uhm Hong Gil (Hwang Jung Min) meets the novice but very ambitious Park Moo Taek (Jung Woo) who aspires to join his expedition. After much relentless pleading, Uhm obliges. What follows is a series of successful expeditions for the two, who come to grow an unbreakable bond. However, their friendship is devastated when Park dies from a fatal accident on a journey.
Uhm and the original teammates of the expedition grieve for their companion’s loss, but also for the fact that his lonely corpse is still left on the mountains. Although the odds are stacked against him, Captain Uhm resolves to take up the mountaineering gear again and rescue his junior’s body.
Hwang Jung Min, who’s starred in a number of domestic hits in 2015 (“Ode to My Father,” “Veteran”), plays out the leadership qualities of Captain Uhm, while maintaining his characteristic blunt humor and genuine acting that gains the sympathy of the audience. Rising star Jung Woo takes on the inexperienced but ambitious character of Park Moo Taek, and impactfully delivers an emotional scene that’ll leave a lasting impression on viewers.
Emotional, intense, and with sprinkles of humor, “The Himalayas” is an adventure film perfect for this winter season. It poignantly displays the unbreakable bond of friendship and loyalty that surpasses even the most toughest of obstacles.