When two bikers begin their climb up a winding road, the last thing you’d ever guess was coming was deep conversation. But as they continue onward, the duo proceed to do just that.

Kyle (Kyle Marvin) and Mike (Michael Angelo Covino) are best friends who share a close bond having went to high school together. Instead of maturing, Mike’s selfishness grows commensurately with his age. For example, their bike ride turned awkward because Mike admitted he had been with Kyle’s fiancée. As they continued on the Tour de Toxicity, Mike makes a lackluster effort to amend the damage but it was far too late.

This was not a film about real-life friendships and how to work things out no matter the cost. This was about who you should and should not keep in your life, as Mike is a prime example of the latter. Kyle has a reputation for being a kind, gentle, quality person, while Mike is known for selfishness, drinking, and embarrassing moments.

Kyle’s ubiquitous kindness was felt by the whole household. Everyone in his family admired how nice and thoughtful he was. But it seemed like whenever he made progress forward, Mike would show up and bring him two steps back.

Mike is the living embodiment of a Future meme; a toxic person that keeps lingering around in someone’s life saying all the right things but their actions aren’t suffice.

Kyle deserves equal blame for his own pitfalls by not having the gusto to kick this dude to the curb before he ruins his life. In true toxic fashion, Mike would ruin Kyle’s relationship, yet, show up to support him in the next breath. This type of infrequent behavior should’ve earned him a swift exit, but Kyle is nice to a fault; a trait his second fiancée tried to correct before they got married.

Excessive drinking, inappropriate comments, and consistently being the lone source of turmoil are what made Mike so despicable. Interestingly enough, the film was based on real-life best friends, Michael Angelo Covino and Kyle Marvin. They are truly inspiring if they’re still friends after what can only be described as a tumultuous relationship.

I give The Climb 6.5 out of 10. Director, producer, and screenwriter Michael Angelo Covino has his few moments of greatness in the film. Heck, he should even get a nod for his acting in the way he portrayed himself. Unfortunately, the film is equally as toxic as it is humorous, and that doesn’t make for much of a comedy.

-Jon J.

Photos: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

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