After you've watched Free Solo, then Core seems a bit anti-climactic.
It's not about just any kind of climbing either per se, but about bouldering, a particular strain of the sport where you attempt to climb boulders, and cover the ground below you with mats and friends in case you fall. And you do fall. Over and over. That's part of the game. Try and try again until you finally make it.
Maybe free soloing is the natural progression of this. Climbing entire faces of rock without even a line, compared to these minor obstacles, that albeit difficult, just don't infer the same sense of danger. And the climbers seem mostly rash and risk-taking too, compared to the calm and collected Alex Honnold that I now have as reference for all future rock-climbing documentaries I might see. I'm not sure anything will ever really compare...
I thought Alex actually made a brief appearance in this movie. The one at the start of the movie with the hernia he fixes himself, with the bowl cut and body chiseled like Anthony Kiedis, who climbs bigger boulders than anyone else in the biz (at least bigger than anyone in this documentary).
It wasn't him though, it was Kevin Jorgensson, but he does shine a bit, and makes the sport seem bigger than most. The movie does have its moments.
Whereas all the other climbers they interview seem to treat the climb as a hobby, way of life though their hobby may be, Alex really turned his passion into his life though. He took a risk, and he made it. Climbed to the sky, while these peeps creep close to the ground and say it feels scary.
Maybe some of them made it after this though. I hope they did. All the best to them. I'm just not as impressed as I hoped I would be here. Not in aw of the staggering heights or daredevil feats that only a few can perform - but it's probably a good thing everyone doesn't. It's safer like this.
I don't know about the symbolism with the kid in the factory either, or the music video in the middle of it all, or the helicopter stunts. Is this really a documentary on rock-climbing...? It had some interesting bits, but they don't have me all convinced with this one. Not like Free Solo.
rated 3/5: not bad