Click on CAPCon Alert
image for explanation
A service to parents and grandparents
Vertical Limit (2000), (PG-13)
CAP Score: 53
CAP Influence Density: 0.91
Now by MC, Amex, Visa and more!
Your donations are TAX DEDUCTIBLE!
The foul language eliminator
Removes profanity from
movies and TV shows
Switch to LifeLine
long distance service
The Family Friendly
From the best-seller book series.
NOW ONLY Just in time for Christmas!
Christian Media News
Your One Stop
For Everything Christian
Free Email Ministry
Christian Banner eXchange
For FREE text-only versions of our media analysis reports as they are calculated, open this email then click "send." If your browser does not handle this URL format properly, send us a request to add you.
SUMMARY / COMMENTARY:
VERTICAL LIMIT (PG-13) -- who lives and who dies?
Vertical Limit is a heavy presentation of the profoundly invasive question that no one should have to answer -- who lives and who dies? Decisions such as this are found throughout Vertical Limit like salt on popcorn. Why not present such a topic to early teens and preteens for contemplation as they wait for sleep to come, while having breakfast, while waiting for the bus.......? Many school systems apparently use such a scenario in death and dying classes and even math classes. Early teens and preteens all possess an adequate magnitude of life experiences and wisdom, don't they? Well!? Don't they!? School systems seem to think so. If the schools think such high-order thinking is okay for preteens and early teens, it must be okay. Right?
The story begins with such a decision. A father/daughter/son climbing team, the Garrett family, experience an indeed rare sequence of events. A "rookie" team of climbers above the Garrett team on a sheer, vertical rock face mountain wall drops one of their packs which threatens to knock the Garrett family loose. Then the rookie team comes screaming down. The rookie team is tethered together and the tether served to snag the Garrett family. Though the father had wisely anchored the family team, only one anchor survived the weight of the three Garretts PLUS two of the rookie team now hanging onto the Garrett family: the daughter, Annie (Robin Tunney) first in the string then the son, Peter (Chris O'Donnell) hanging from her, the father from him and the two rookies hanging from the father. Somehow the rookies are broken free of the string and plummet to their deaths, screaming and writhing all the way. And we see them falling and screaming, just not the sudden stop below. Now the lives of the entire Garrett team are depending on the one anchor, which is slipping. The father, not having a knife and knowing the chances of the anchor surviving are better without his weight, commands Peter to cut the rope. In a sequence of gut-wrenching emotions Peter finally cuts the rope, leaving him and Annie to fend for themselves as their father falls to his death. And we see it. His death. The camera breaks away from the Garretts and focuses on a patch of ground below for a couple seconds from eye-level about six feet away. Then suddenly with sickeningly realistic speed of fall and thud the father hits the ground motionless. His body fills the focal field of the camera while the audience digests what has happened. And by the reaction of the audience to the realism of this programming, whatever it was they had digested for lunch was threatening to launch. As the years pass, Peter and Annie go their separate ways but never leave climbing, he to photography and she to world-class mountaineering. Annie never fully believes that Peter had done the right thing by cutting their father loose: that Peter did not have the right to make the decision who lives and who dies.
This is the basic thrust of Vertical Limit -- making decisions of who lives and who dies. Millionaire airline owner Elliot Vaughn (Bill Paxton - Twister), trying to get to the top of K-2 to be there when the inaugural flight of his new airline passes overhead, made such a decision four years earlier about the wife of recluse climber Montgomery Wick (Scott Glenn). Vaughn also made that decision about Tom McLaren (Nicholas Lea) and would have made that decision about Annie if it were not for Wick and Peter and another whose name I do not remember. McLaren, Annie and Vaughn of the Vaughn ascention group were trapped in an ice cave after a storm-generated avalanche. As it turns out, Wick makes the "who lives, who dies" decision for himself and Vaughn.
By the way, "vertical limit" is apparently the maximum altitude the human lungs can operate for extended periods without failure; 24,000 feet in the movie.
This movie follows a deepening trend of PG-13 ("R-13") and shows you and your 13 year old kids (and younger if you take them or let them go) what the nude body looks like -- full male angled frontal nudity -- of two males [Rev. 3:18; 1John 2:16]. Having worked with child protective services for a number of years I can tell you an adult male would spend time in jail if he exposed himself like that to kids in the real world. But weren't the two actors who stripped for that scene real? Wasn't the filming set real? Didd they not know there would be adolescents in the audience? Maybe YOU can tell me where is the truth in this "art?" Also, note that the MPAA rated this flick PG-13 for "intense life-death situations" and "brief strong language." Not a word about the nudity. And the actors were nude -- there is no arguing it. So, who sez the entertainment industry does not shape our culture?
Additional programming which may and should raise the parent's eyebrow includes much potty-mouth language [Col. 3:8] including the most foul of the foul words and God's name in vain both with and without the four letter expletive [Deut. 5:11] and drinking and drunkenness [1Pet. 4:3; Gal. 5:21]. But quintessential throughout the movie was so much violent invasion of the senses [Phil. 4:8; Luke 17:2]. Many near-fatal falls and dangers of falls, extreme urgency, disaster perils and visually graphic deaths. A complete listing of the findings is provided on Findings/Scoring below.
Please be sure to get the full truth about this movie by reading the Findings/Scoring below.
FINDINGS / SCORING:
NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely, definitely when plural.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
Offense to God (O)(2):