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A 2000 film about a group of climbers who become stranded in an avalanche on K2, and the rescue mission launched to find them. Noted for its All-Star Cast and loads and loads of Scenery Porn, it won several awards for drama and visual effects.

Tropes used in Vertical Limit include:
  • Big Brother Instinct - The reason Peter’s so insistent on rescuing Annie, even though multiple other characters insist it’s suicide.
  • Cut the Safety Rope - Happens to the main characters’ father in the prologue, causing the friction between him and his sister. All the more heartbreaking as it was the son who cut the rope at his father’s insistence just moments before the sister was able to attach additional securing that might have saved them. Repeated with an Ironic Echo at the end of the film when The Mentor sacrifices both himself and the Smug Snake (unwillingly) to save the others.
  • Dwindling Party - The rescue team.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero - Vaughn, whose last trip up K2 was much-publicized due to the death of several members of the climbing party. It’s revealed that he didn’t survive through any skill of his own, but because he stole the dex from Wick’s wife, which ultimately resulted in her death. Wick suspects this, and later gets confirmation.
  • Finally Found the Body - The group finds Wick’s wife’s body on their way up the mountain, along with evidence that Vaughn caused her death.
  • Heroic Sacrifice - Several. The film opens with Annie and Peter’s father insisting they Cut the Safety Rope so his weight doesn’t pull them all down. Wick does this too, conveniently getting revenge on Vaughn in a Taking You with Me moment. Vaughn also tries to convince an injured Tom to pull one in order to save the dex for himself, though both Tom and Annie call him out for being a selfish bastard.
  • I'm Cold... So Cold... - Tom. Unsurprising, since he’s, you know, freezing to death.
  • Karmic Death - Vaughn.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters
  • The Lost Lenore - Wick’s wife, who died during Vaughn’s first expedition up the mountain. It’s later revealed that Vaughn stole the dex from her, essentially murdering her so he could survive.
  • The Mentor - Wick.
  • Money, Dear Boy - In-universe, this is the biggest reason Monique goes with the rescue team.
  • Mortal Wound Reveal - Tom gets one of these. We know he’s been injured in the avalanche, but not how badly until Annie lifts his shirt up and shows his ribcage has basically been caved in.
  • Nitro Express - The rescue party hauls some nitroglycerine up the mountain, to help locate the climbers stranded by the avalanche.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits - The crew assembled to go rescue the stranded climbers looks like this from the outside. A half-crazy mountain man, two slacker brothers, a woman in it for the money… Subverted in that they’re all actually experienced climbers who know what they’re doing.
  • Sanity Slippage - Wick looks like a case of this from the outside. In reality he’s simply never stopped grieving for his dead wife.
  • Scenery Porn - It’s set on K2, and was filmed on several mountains, so this is kind of inevitable.
  • Shaming the Mob - Peter does this when trying to put together a team to go rescue the stranded climbers. The Bench brothers are much more blunt about it, basically calling most of the camp a bunch of cowards too busy writing their autobiographies to do any actual climbing.
  • Shoot the Dog - Vaughn, not wanting to share the dex with Tom (who’s been injured in the avalanche), injects him with air, killing him with a pulmonary embolism.
  • Snow Means Death - Kind of the point of the movie.
  • Suicide Mission - Peter’s rescue attempt is seen as this, which is why he has such a hard time assembling a large enough team to try it.
  • Survivor Guilt - Peter has this.
  • Take a Moment to Catch Your Death
  • Taking You with Me - Wick, to Vaughn.
  • The One Thing I Don't Hate About You - The Pakistani military officer admits that despite the Indians being their mortal enemies, they make really good tea.
  • They Knew the Risks - The excuse given by almost everyone who refuses to go on the rescue mission. Truth in Television to an extent, since anyone willing to go on such a serious climb has to realize they stand a very real chance of dying.
  • Those Two Guys - The Bench brothers.
  • Token Romance
  • What Is One Man's Life in Comparison? - Vaughn tries to pull this on Tom, telling him he’s got no chance so they shouldn’t bother wasting the dex on him. While he might have a point -- Tom is severely injured -- he’s a pretty cold-hearted bastard about it. Plus, Vaughn only says it because he wants all the dex for himself.
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