Wednesday, November 18, 2020


 by Adam Riske

Nominated for the Teen Choice Award for Best Film (Choice Drama/Action Adventure).

Welcome to 2K Replay, the home of the year 2000 in film. This week I’m revisiting Vertical Limit - a movie I saw on an awkward “Is there more?” first date with my then best friend.

• Best Scene/Moment: Chris O’Donnell jumps a gap between rock formations and has to mid-air stab the side of an ice mountain with two axes to latch on.
• Best Food: Not much food in this one being that they’re on a mountain. If I’m remembering correctly, there was a moment when Bill Paxton’s character treats all the climbers at base camp to BBQ. Logistically that seems difficult. Do you send up the tray of baked beans in a helicopter? Is one of the climber’s packs filled with brisket?

• Best Song: Vertical Limit disappoints in the song department. The best (by default) is a so-so Dean Martin tune called “Little Ole Wine Drinker Me.” 

• Best Merch Available on eBay Right Now: “Robin Tunney – Climbing Shoes from Vertical Limit – Screen Worn – COA” for $249.00. Now you can literally walk a mile in Robin Tunney’s shoes.
• Director Check: Vertical Limit was directed by Martin Campbell, whose made some great action movies including The Mask of Zorro, Casino Royale (2006), and GoldenEye. On the other hand, he’s also made Green Lantern, The Foreigner, and The Legend of Zorro, so you never really know what you’re getting with one of his films. Vertical Limit is almost perfectly in the middle in terms of quality. When he made Vertical Limit, it was still during his Hollywood ascent (no pun intended) after GoldenEye and The Mask of Zorro.

• Double It with This 2000 Movie: Red Planet

• Year 2000 Movies to Trailer Before It: Mission: Impossible 2, The Perfect Storm, U-571

Draft Day or Vertical Limit? Draft Day

• Grab Bag Video:

I love that several people on YouTube have made musical slideshow tributes to Chris O’ Donnell.

• Mall Movie? Yes, mainly because Vertical Limit is a hand-me-down version of Cliffhanger and its cast is headlined by mall-friendlies like Chris O’Donnell, Robin Tunney, Scott Glen, and Bill Paxton. You’d definitely hit up Baskin-Robbins after Vertical Limit, so it’s a mall movie.

• Only in 2000: Scott Glenn deciding to have his character – SPOILER – go out the same way he did in Backdraft as if no one would notice. Hey, if you find something that works…

• Scene Stealer: One of the fun things about revisiting 20-year-old movies is seeing actors in early roles before they turned into people we see all the time on-screen. In the case of Vertical Limit, we get Ben Mendelsohn being all dirty and skeevy as one of the mountain climbing wild men. He’s like a more respectable version of the character he would later play in Killing Them Softly.
• I Miss: Bill Paxton.

• I Don’t Miss: Early 2000’s CGI where you just put an actor in front of a green screen background and assume it looks realistic and awesome.

• 2000 Crush: Izabella Scorupco.

• 2020 Crush: Base Camp BBQ.

• What I Thought in 2000: I didn’t like the movie much in 2000. To be fair, I was distracted that night because I was on a date. Fun fact: I remember taking my friend out to dinner after the movie to this Italian restaurant and when we sat down the waiter gave me a thumbs up to signal he approved of who I brought.

• What I Think in 2020: It’s fine. Vertical Limit definitely feels like the 3rd movie on a DVD 4-Pack, but it’s well-made and has some exciting mountain peril.


  1. the section 'Draft Day or...', will there ever be another answer other than DD? i don't remember seeing anything else. i mean, you still need to ask, because we need to know, but is there a world where another answer exist?

    1. I picked Cast Away over Draft Day

    2. ha, there it is. the proof that we need the question every time :)

  2. It's not that I'm angry Vertical Limit lost the Teen Choice Award to Pearl Harbor. It's that both films beat A Knight's Tale.


  3. I love the idea of this waiter giving unsolicited approval or disapproval to customers dates.

  4. "Fun fact: I remember taking my friend out to dinner after the movie to this Italian restaurant and when we sat down the waiter gave me a thumbs up to signal he approved of who I brought." LMAO

  5. The only thing better than a 2K Replay on Red Planet would be a full podcast episode! :P

    1. I liked Red Planet! Only afterwards did I discover that I was fairly alone in that assessment. Revisited it about 10 years ago and still liked it.

      I barely remember what happens in it now. Probably time to revisit the Red Planet!

      Disclaimer: I'm a sucker for space movies, so there is no correlation between my enjoyment and the actual quality of the movie. Val Kilmer is just a bonus.