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K2: The Ultimate High

105 customer reviews

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K2: The Ultimate High + Touching the Void
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Editorial Reviews

Michael Biehn plays a Seattle attorney who talks his friend, a physics instructor (Matt Craven), into joining a party with plans to climb the tallest and least accessible mountain in the world, K-2. Biehn's arrogant character immediately bumps noggins wit


Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Biehn, Matt Craven, Annie Grindlay, Elena Wohl, Blu Mankuma
  • Directors: Franc Roddam
  • Writers: Patrick Meyers, Scott Roberts
  • Producers: Hal Weiner, Jonathan T. Taplin, Marilyn Weiner, Masa Mikage, Melvyn J. Estrin
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Greatest Sports Legends
  • DVD Release Date: June 25, 2001
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005MM67
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,715 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "K2: The Ultimate High" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Robert Huggins VINE VOICE on August 27, 2001
Format: DVD
While K2 suffers from a certain predictability, it has some of the most spectacular mountain climbing scenes ever filmed. Michael Biehn and Matt Craven are two professionals from Seattle who join billionaire Raymond J. Barry and his team as they attempt to climb K2, the world's second largest peak. It's simply a story of how the team comes together to conquer the mountain. There is tragedy along the way and a test of personal friendship as the team makes its ascent to the top. It's somewhat remarkable that this Paramount/Miramax co-production of relatively recent vintage (1991) has been relegated to a release through a budget video company. The DVD presentation is extremely disappointing; the film has a soft look. I remember it looking much clearer and crisper in the theater at the time of its initial release. Most unfortunately, this DVD has been released in pan & scan rather than in widescreen; viewers are really being cheated of some outstanding cinematography. Also, the extras are minimal . . . there's a brief synopsis of the film, credits of the principal film makers, and short biographies of the film's two main stars, Michael Biehn and Matt Craven. This is the type of film where a "Making of" featurette would have been a great and welcome addition. Let's hope that sometime in he future, that Paramount or Miramax will see fit to give K2 the DVD release that it truly deserves.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By TJ Burr on December 4, 2005
Format: DVD
This is the best mountain climbing movie made! I like to watch it every 3-4 months, which is why I had to get the DVD (my video tape version was about worn out). There are probably better documentary style movies about mountaineering, but for a hollywood-style movie this is the best. The images of mountains and the feeling of high adventure are awesome! I'm surprised by the other negative reviews about this movie.

I am a recreational mountaineer myself, and have read many mountaineering adventure books. I wish there were more mountaineering movies. Compared to "Vertical Limit", I thought "K2" was much more realistic.
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37 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 4, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is essentially a buddy movie clothed in mountaineering garb. It is a story about two climbers: one, a Seattle based attorney, the other, a physics instructor. They are a mismatched pair of friends who are brought together because of their love for climbing. The story line is about the ultimate test that their friendship endures while high on K2, the second highest mountain in the world but the most perilous to climb.

The rock climbing scenes that take place in the first fifteen minutes of the movie are terrific to watch, even though they may not be technically correct. After all, it's a movie, not a documentary. The scenery is spectacular and the cinematography is excellent.

These friends decide to grab an opportunity to climb K2 with an expedition that lost two of its team members to an avalanche on Denali. The attorney has no problem going to K2, but the physics instructor leaves behind his weeping wife and child. Yet his friendship with the attorney and his own desire to climb K2 compel him to leave his distraught family.

There are a number of scenes in the movie that seem to be taken from real life. While on expedition to K2, the porters leave them stranded, refusing to go any further on the mountain, as they have portents of doom. They also want more money. One scene has the attorney burning rupees in defiance of the porters' strike. World class mountaineer Jim Wickwire did the same thing, when he climbed K2, and under similar circumstances.

In another scene, a number of climbers fall into a crevasse only to be saved at the last minute by the physics instructor, as he digs his ice axes in and grips the road.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Irene Adler on April 20, 2002
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This movie is about two friends who are dedicated (not to say compulsive) mountain climbers. It is based loosely on Lou Reichart and Jim Whitacker who were among the first four Americans to climb K2-probably the world's most difficult mountain. The story is woven around the contrast and conflict between the two friends, one apparently being primarily self-oriented and the other believing in the importance of interpersonal responsibility. The climbing is a useful vehicle because it makes plausible that a close relationship between two such dissimilar people could exist. The mentality and mechanics of big mountain climbing are well depicted as the film moves to a resolution of its central issue. The acting is competent and the depiction of the mountain climbing is excellent. This movie is better than the obscurity into which it has sunken. I suspect that it is because most people are simply unable to empathize with the motivation that would drive climbers to deliberately put themselves in a situation in which they have a 30% chance of dying.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By snowleopard on October 10, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
First, I won't spend too much time reviewing this film, there are enough reviews on here, or elsewhere, that tell the story. This is a good movie, and while not great, arguably the best, or most accurate dramatic film on mountaineering (Touching the Void being a documentary). It's a good story, well acted, and there is some spectacular cinematography along with a great score.

As to the DVD, while I am very glad it exists in the first place, I was a bit disappointed. The sound is good, though only stereo. The picture quality is good, but it's in 4:3 pan and scan, (not the original letterboxed widescreen it was shot in). And there are no real extras. That's too bad as there could have been a lot here. Perhaps missed most of all is an isloation of Chaz Jankel's excellent score, which was never made available on CD, and remains locked in a vault somewhere.

All in all, a good movie, but an average DVD.
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