The riveting story of the
Uruguayan rugby team who had to find unorthodox methods for survival
after their chartered plane crashed into the Andes en route to an away
game in Chile in 1972 is relatively well adapted to the big screen by
Steven Spielberg's regular partners Frank Marshall (director) and
Kathleen Kennedy (producer). Marshall directs the air disaster
brilliantly, but cannot avoid some B-movie sensibilities in the film's
first part. He is an old-school director, meaning that even the
interpersonal elements – which are the most interesting part of the
story – come off as action-driven. I suspect the film may have made more
of a lasting impression had they been made to carry the script to a
larger degree. Still, once Ethan Hawke's character finds his footing,
the film becomes truer, more poignant and a tad less Hollywoodized.
Alive may well derive a large part of its effectiveness from the fact
it's based on real events, but it's
it's based on real events, but it's effective nonetheless.