Movie Review

Alive

Reviewed by: Maggi
CONTRIBUTOR

Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Older Teen to Adult
Genre:
Drama
Length:
2 hr.
Year of Release:
1993
USA Release:
January 15, 1993
Featuring: Ethan Hawke, Vincent Spano, Josh Hamilton, Bruce Ramsay
Director: Frank Marshall
Producer: _____
Distributor: _____

When a plane carrying a group of rugby players, their families, and friends, crashes in the middle of the Andes Mountains, they must overcome incredible odds to stay alive. After being on the mountain for over 70 days and doing unimaginable things to stay alive, the surviving rugby players find out through a radio that the search party looking for them has been called off. Any hope of finding anyone alive now has been diminished. Now that nobody is looking for them anymore, the group of young men don’t give up. Instead, they band together and find the courage to do what it takes to get themselves home. The rugby players whom this happened to in reality are devout Roman Catholics and the movie expresses their faith in prayer and in God. When making decisions as to what they should do, they turn to prayer and each other, discussing such things as, “what would God wants us to do?”; “is what we’re doing a sin?”; and they take these things seriously.

The film shows the struggles that they have not only with God, but with each other. Having to deal with the extremely cold nights, no food or water, injured survivors, and other friends of theirs who survive the crash, only to die later on, these individuals struggled with a lot and if it weren’t for God, they wouldn’t have made it. The film does include many uses of the “f” word, but seeing the condition that the men are in, I can almost understand why this language is used in the story. There is also a very scary and realistic plane crash scene which is the scariest and most believable plane crash I’ve ever seen in a film. There is also an avalanche scene which is just as frightening. There are also moments in which you laugh because the survivors try and make the best of their situation, but there are many more scenes in which you should sit with a tissue box. The movie is not as gory as it obviously could have been.

If you want to know even more about the actual survivors and hear from them about their faith in God, then I also recommend that you rent the documentary, “Alive: 20 Years Later”. I highly recommend this film to those who love both action movies and dramas, but if you scare easily or have a very weak stomach, then you should either skip this film, or fast forward through certain scenes that may be too much for you. However, I do not find this movie to be offensive in any way.


Viewer Comments
Thumbs up! 4 stars! I definitely agree with the reviewer. This is a gripping true story. Some gore—but not gratuitous, and in line with what actually happened. “Alive” captivates: how could these people have actually survived all that they went through?! The story reveals their struggles and contemplations both materially and spiritually. From a Christian point of view, I thought God was inspirationally revealed in the very midst of this tragedy—something rare in movies. The story is interesting, some action is added amidst the panoramic scenery; but it is the characters which especially endure with fine acting and character development. Not a spoiler, but watch for 3 distinct changes in leadership as the survivors endure week after week of struggling—a fine illustration of the true value of teamwork and mutual support. “Alive 20 Years Later” reveals that the surviving soccer players remain bonded friends to this day. My Ratings: [3/4½]
—Todd Adams, age 32