Not Annaud's worst film I've seen, but that doesn't really say all that much. Like most of his work, subtlety isn't really in the cards and there's a fair bit of exotism driving the film, but at least it makes for some pretty images and impressive settings along the way. That's where the appeal lies here.
Brad Pitt as the German Harrer isn't the most successful casting ever, luckily Thewlis is there to take some of the irritation away and together with Tsamchoe they make a pretty decent trio. The end up in a pretty decent adventure, sadly for a film that's based on true events it never feels all that convincing.
Annaud's direction is just too overworked and more often than not it feels like you're watching some random, kitschy Hollywood story. A more balanced film would've definitely made this a lot easier to bear, not in the least because of the lengthy runtime. I guess I would've preferred a decent documentary, rather than this sappy adventure.