“The Climb” debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2019. A year and a half later, Sony Pictures Classics is finally releasing what they’re describing as a “dark comedy”. But there’s no need to ride over to a nearby multiplex and sit in the dark to see a film that doesn’t provide an ounce of humor.
Michael Angelo Covino is the director. He also wrote the screenplay with Kyle Marvin. And the pair star in the movie… as Mike & Kyle. They’re pals whose friendship goes through a series of highs and (mostly) lows over a period of several years.
“The Climb” is a series of bad “one continuous shot” sketches oddly strung together. And every single scene consists of writing and acting that tries way too hard to be funny, clever, unique and profound. But the believability meter rarely moves up from zero.
The story is filled with situations that would never happen in real life. Some comedies required you to suspend your disbelief at times. Here that’s impossible. The characters are so over the top. And the messages are cornball. The most recognizable name in the cast is former “Cheers” star George Wendt, who drops in for a couple of scenes and then swiftly exits the picture.
There is a surprise cameo of a location I’m pretty familiar with: the historic Crandell Theatre in Chatham, NY. It’s appearance late in the film woke me from the mind-numbing daze “The Climb” had put me in.
The only interesting reason to stick around to the end is to witness the illogical and preposterous leaps Corvino and Marvin take to wrap everything up.
This climb is as rocky as they get.
LCJ GRADE: D-
Running Time: 98 min.