K2 Review

While climbing one day, Taylor and Harold meet a man who's attempting to climb K2, the world's second-highest peak. Always pushy, Taylor bugs the man for a spot on the team, claiming that he and Harold are good enough. They may be very good, but K2 is a very tough mountain.

by Kim Newman |
Published on
Release Date:

01 Jan 1992

Running Time:

111 minutes



Original Title:


Not a prequel to K-9, this is in fact about the second highest mountain in the Himalayas, reputed to be an even more dangerous climb than Mount Everest, and stuck with a Pakistani name so unpronounceable this film doesn't even bother to mention it.

Like Backdraft, but on a considerably less exciting level, this is essentially a re-run of all those 'dangerous profession' melodramas of the '30s and '40s, in which two he-man buddies brawl and booze between putting their lives on the line as test pilots/deep-sea divers/jungle explorers etc.

Here, wild and irresponsible Michael Biehn and happily married and irresponsible Matt Craven, whom you might just remember as the man in Jacob's Ladder who explains the plot, join up with a billionaire's K2 expedition and all the expected clichés of the genre are trotted out.The surly and untrustworthy native porters keep deserting the doggedly devoted white heroes, and the more disposable secondary characters get splatted by avalanches and freak falls.

The only surprise is that Biehn doesn't make any moves on the expedition's sole woman, perhaps because Patricia Charbonneau looks more butch in her climbing get-up than she did when she played a lesbian in Desert Hearts, and that nobody goes mad and wanders off into the snowy wastes in search of the abominable snowman.

It's getting increasingly hard to remember Franc Roddam's one solid credit - Quadrophenia - with each ponderous, pretentious pretend movie he comes up with. This follows his War Party in its ridiculous pretence that its more than just an action melodrama, and sadly dilutes any potential this might have had to be a stunt-filled extravaganza - only an early practice scene in Alaska has anything like daredevil derring-do on the icy rock face - by dumping in endless ruminations about the meaning o
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