Following the great visual successes of GoldenEye (1995) and The Mask of Zorro (1998), director Martin Campbell continues honing his reputation as a creator of smart thrillers with this exciting, fast-paced action-drama set in the Himalayas. If the script at times strains credulity with stock supporting characters such as those played by Bill Paxton and Scott Glenn, it also maintains a taut, suspenseful framework for Campbell's ingeniously mounted action scenes. The screenplay by Terry Hayes and Robert King also keeps the tension high by zipping along at a brisk clip, never allowing the audience too much time to consider how outrageous the entire enterprise truly is, which is the mark of a superb "B" picture. The cast, led by Chris O'Donnell and Robin Tunney, is uniformly fine, with Alexander Siddig a particular standout in a small role as a rescuer bent on saving his cousin. However, the real star of Vertical Limit is its director, as Campbell once again displays a high degree of capability with sprawling action material, putting previous mountain-climbing flicks such as Cliffhanger (1993) to shame.