Rated 3.0

The vivid but strangely uninvolving adventure documentary Meru follows skilled mountain climbers Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk on their years-long journey to conquer the seemingly unconquerable Shark's Fin of India's Mount Meru. More dangerous than Everest, the so-called “Meru Wall” requires each member of the team to lug 200 pounds of equipment for over a week, and the immense pack weight forces them to largely forgo food rations along the way. Co-directed by Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Meru features some stunning, fly-on-the-mountain-face climbing sequences, most of them captured on the climbers' helmet-mounted cameras, and the death-baiting madness of elite life-riskers has never been more real. However, the human element is sorely lacking, even as the team is touched by tragedy and near-death, and the film annoyingly overexplains every detail (Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Jon Krakauer will literally never stop talking) without offering any substantial insight into the climber mind. D.B.