Review: Free Solo

It’s been almost 2 weeks since I started this film blog, and I have yet to get outside of the “awards season” genre in any of my reviews. For this, I apologize…sort of. I mean, it is “awards season” after all. The big blockbuster movies hit theatres in November and December, and I went to see them in November and December. So having not started this blog until the new year, I don’t and won’t have reviews of movies like Aquaman, Bumblebee, Mary Poppins Returns, Bohemian Rhapsody, and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Sorry. But really, none of those movies made my top 10 of last year (check out my previous post for that list!), so it’s also okay, right? Either way, you are always welcome to comment in frustration if this isn’t the movie you want to hear about, and I will kindly ignore you 🙂
Now, this movie was one that I seriously enjoyed and was so glad they brought back to the IMAX one more time in a push for awards! Get a ticket if you still can, because Free Solo is a sweaty palms, edge-of-your-seat film that is worth seeing on the BIG SCREEN.
***Synopsis: Alex Honnold successfully climbs a 3,200 ft rock without ropes.***
I’d add a *Spoiler Warning*, but it’s a documentary people, c’mon. The trailer tells you that he’s the first person to ever accomplish this feat. But still, watching him actually make the climb is heart-stopping and mind-blowing. And it doesn’t help that for the majority of the movie, he is super calm and collected when discussing the possibility of falling to his death. In fact, he says, “If you’re pushing the edge, eventually you find the edge.” His film crew is made up of friends and fellow climbers, including directors Jimmy Chin & Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, known for their 2015 documentary Meru (another scary mountain movie worth watching). Alex’s commitment to conquering El Capitan in Yosemite National Park is so daring that the crew actually question the ethics of filming and ironically have to look away several times while he is up on the wall, because they know that even the most skilled climbers can still make one wrong move. And with no safety gear for 4 hours of intense climbing, it’s no wonder the best they can hope for is “a low-gravity day.” I’m not saying that I endorse his passion for free soloing mountains, because as a fellow (indoor) rock climber, I think he’s rather crazy. But to see it unfold is unreal. For now, Alex stands on top of the world.
So it’s a recommendation from me, and I hope you get a chance to catch it in theatres before it leaves again! If not, watch for its release at Redbox or Apple Movies or streaming services, and sit as close to the screen as you can without going blind. Thanks for reading, cheers!

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