Toni (Furmann) and Andi (Lukas) are two young German Alpinists lured by the challenge of the unconquered North face of the Eiger. When a rival group from Austria joins the ascent, it's a race to the top, but the brave young climbers find themselves completely unprepared for what lies ahead of them. Meanwhile, drama unfolds on the mountain below as their childhood friend Luise (Wokalek), a journalist, fends off the advances of her editor.
Since their heyday in the 1930s, the mountain climbing action film ("Bergefilme," as they were dubbed) has largely gone dormant. Thankfully, "North Face" brings back the high stakes, high altitude action — but this isn't the brainless climbing and falling of Stallone's "Cliffhanger." Based on a true story, set against the backdrop of real history and featuring an effortless balance between the drama on the Eiger and the ground below, Stolzl manages an action adventure with characters to care about. Furmann and Lukas prove able heroes, and the addition of Wokalek into the mix adds the right dash of romantic spark. More than anything, a Bergefilme lives or dies on death-defying thrills, and "North Face" delivers in spades. It'll take your breath away.