You wait ages for a movie about survival on a snowy mountainside, and two come along at once. In the wake of last week’s Kate Winslet and Idris Elba vehicle The Mountain Between Us comes this based-on-a-true-story drama about what happened to former pro hockey player Eric LeMarque (Josh Harnett) when he went snowboarding with a plastic bag full of crystal meth, a two-way radio low on charge, and a foolhardy belief in his own inviolability.
Bleached-out flashbacks to LeMarque’s unhappy childhood punctuate the film’s present-tense trudges through the snow, failures to light a fire, and inevitable encounters with wolves. Stylistically, it’s strictly made-for-TV trauma-drama stuff, but it’s hard not to admire Hartnett’s tenacity in what was surely a physically challenging role and wonder why he hasn’t had a better career arc.
Poor Mira Sorvino, who has had even worse fortunes despite an early Oscar, and who is only 11 years older than Hartnett in real life, is cast as LeMarque’s long-suffering, devoted mother. Still, perhaps the best thing about this movie is that the relationship between a parent and her adult child, instead of a romantic liaison, represents the true emotional spine of the story.