The true story of Eric LeMarque, called 6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain, opens this weekend and it’s more than the average survival film. Very compelling and with a timely message, the movie depicts a breath taking and breathless adventure of endurance and courage. Although the setting may be similar to the recent survival film The Mountains Between Us, this factual story makes that one look like a fairy tale.
Once a sure pick for the Boston Bruins, drug addicted Eric LeMarque (Josh Hartnett) loses his spot when he resigns over an incident on the ice. He finally realizes it’s because of his overzealous determination to win and pressure from his father that has lead him to the decision. Realizing his life using Meth is headed for a never-ending downward spiral, Eric decides to go to a mountain cabin to get clean.
His second love is snowboarding and on this particular day he heads for one of the highest slopes. Just after he starts his last run down the mountain an announcement is made at his lift station that a freak snow storm’s about to hit the area. Unknowingly, he decides to take an uncharted drop. The decision and impending danger becomes a test of Eric’s physical and mental ability as things start going progressively wrong.
Director Scott Waugh takes his audience on an amazing snowboarding experience using body cam techniques to bring the action up close. Pulling back on his shots from choppers and other means you can see a sweeping mountainside, snow covered slopes and the storm moving in as Eric tries to push himself out of harm’s way. Then the chilling realization that he finds himself lost, the chopper cam pulls up showing Eric alone in a “no man’s” land. A nice bit of direction and cinematography.
Hartnett does a terrific job of depicting the athlete and showing the result of how Eric was affected by his father’s dream of his son becoming the best hockey player. Dealing with his daemons that drove him to use drugs, he made bad decisions that cost him a chance for wealth and fame. When faced with a life or death situation, he has to choose whether he wants to survive another day. Through 8 days of the roughest terrain, injuries, frost bite and lack of food he proves his resolve.
As for the production, acting and direction, the movie is definitely worth the price of admission. The excitement found me on the edge of my chair at times and there’s a couple of scenes I didn’t see coming. Best of all I like the message of how parents should not drive their children to fulfill their own dreams.
6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA for thematic elements including drug addiction, some disturbing images and brief partial nudity. Stick around for the credits as there are actual photos of Eric LeMarque that add some additional information. See if you agree that Hartnett looks a lot like Eric LeMarque and Mira Sorvino, who play him mother resembles the real Susan LeMarque.
FINAL ANALYSIS: A good intense movie for those who like their adventure based on a true story. (3.5 out of 5 stars)
Additional Film Information:
Cast: Josh Hartnett, Sarah Dumont, Jason Cottle. Mira Sorvino, Austin R. Grant
Directed by: Scott Waugh
Written by: Madison Turner
Genre: Drama, Survival, Adventure, Biography
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic elements including drug addiction, some disturbing images and brief partial nudity
Running Time: 1 hr. 38 min.
Release Date: 10-13-17
Distributed by: Momentum Pictures
The comments within this review are the critic’s expressed opinions.