The central premise of Michael Angelo Covino’s directorial debut, The Climb, is that the film is ostensibly Iñárritu’s Birdman by way of farcical bromance. Covino stars as Mike, a selfish jerk who informs his best friend Kyle (Kyle Marvin) that he has been sleeping with Kyle’s fiancé. From there, what proceeds is an artfully designed look into a co-dependent friendship between two people who very clearly bring out poor tendencies in each other, and yet, cannot untangle themselves.
This is quite an enjoyable film, and one that I imagine will play very well amongst large festival crowds. The Climb consists of seven chapters, each separated with an inter-title, and each built around one or two long takes. However, Corvino’s most impressive trick does not involve the slick camerawork, but rather, is built around the thoroughly developed characters, whose subtle gestures allow most of the attempts at humour to land. The best performance is neither Corvino, nor Marvin, but instead comes in the form of Gayle Rankin’s turn as Kyle’s new fiancé, who cares little for Mike, and even less for everyone else’s passive aggressive opinions of her.
It is hard to tell if Corvino’s set-ups are too telegraphed, or if they’re hinting at something deeper. In this sense, The Climb may offer those who wish to go the extra mile, the options to do so. At its core, however, it’s a deeply funny and occasionally touching look into “that” friendship.
- Rated: PG
- Genre: Comedy, Drama
- Release Date: 9/5/2019
- Directed by: Michael Angelo Covino
- Starring: Kyle Marvin, Michael Angelo Covino
- Produced by: Michael Angelo Covino, Noah Lang
- Written by: Kyle Marvin, Michael Angelo Covino
- Studio: Adastra Films, Topic Studios
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