To the Limit: Cheerfully Lunatic


As Pepe Danquart’s cheerfully lunatic To the Limit begins, a camera takes in the majestic expanse of Yosemite National Park, gently gliding not just to the edge of a cliff, but over it. What? While not quite great filmmaking, To the Limit is daring enough to appeal to more than just the usual extreme-sports junkies. In profiling the brothers Huber—Alexander and Thomas, Germans who look like Guns ‘N’ Roses roadies—Danquart and his team of “extreme cinematographers” take as many risks as their subjects: Not content to simply endanger their lives climbing stark precipices, the Hubers are addicted to speed-climbing, an even less safe variant that finds adrenaline rushes in going up perpendicular rocks as fast as possible. The usual extremist blather aside—”If life didn’t have risk, it wouldn’t be real,” non-explains one climber—To the Limit is equal parts breathtakingly daring rock-climbing footage and family psychodrama. The brothers have good reason to squabble: Thomas introduced his younger brother to the sport, then watched as Alexander seized all the high-profile glory and sponsorships. Still, they’re a great team, and the extreme-sports formula never overshadows the Hubers’ endearing relationship. Practicing their climb, Thomas yells for motivation: “Good Alexander! Like a little chamois!”