The buddy movie hits the Himalayas in Franc Roddam’s K2, an entertaining enough mountain-climbing saga [from the 1983 one-act play by Patrick Meyers]. Script’s lack of oxygen is offset by pic’s slick packaging plus good on-screen bonding between leads Michael Biehn and Matt Craven.
Story rapidly sets up two main characters: yuppy, womanizing Seattle lawyer Biehn and gentler, married-with-child professor Craven. When a US climbing group funded by millionaire Raymond J. Barry loses two of its members in an Alaskan training session, Biehn and Craven take their place for the big one – an attempt on K2, the world’s second highest peak and a w.k. engorger of climbers.
Both thesps perform far better than the script deserves, with Biehn cocksure but likable, and Craven serious but caring. Barry is solid as the aging sponsor and Luca Bercovici ditto as Biehn’s nemesis.
There’s no attempt at any mystical relationship between the characters and the mountain. Pic concentrates instead on sheer thrills and spills, with plenty of product placement.