Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin capture an extraordinary and beautifully shot film, catching every massive and heart-pounding angle. Alex Honnold is a quirky and ambitious climber. His attitude almost comes across as emotionless. He looks like Carrie Brownstein’s younger brother. He held his lifelong dream of climbing El Capitan in Yosemite, CA without ropes. This is clearly not an easy feat. The planning is a remarkable piece of memory.
At times, I could have normally done without the focus on the girlfriend. However, Sanni McCandless challenges Alex to share his emotions. They meet each other in a way that suits them. We as an audience get to witness. There is some background about Alex’s upbringing that delivers the man he is now. The focus sort of fell flat. Alex lives modestly. A documentary could have been made about him living in his van. He is also charitable. Humility is a prevalent characteristic as he plans his lifelong dream.
Music by Marco Beltrami invigorates each scene on the rock. The sound livens on your goosebumps as you may or may not look away. A quote to describe a part of El Capitan is “the most magnificent crack on the planet.” I let out the loudest laugh. Another unique part of Alex is he had climbed the rock in the beginning in Dockers and a teeshirt. He embodies a carefree spirit. He also has a “get it done” spirit. His support system, Tommy Caldwell, Peter Croft, Mikey Schaefer and Jimmy Chin are in awe of Alex.
You can stream this film on Hulu.