Skip to main content

Miracle: Disney gets patriotic

Posted in

I needed to see this movie because I am a glutton for punishment.  Specifically, the punishment on which I glut myself is sports movies.  I feel obligated to see sports movies, even though a good sports movie is an oxymoron.  I have a few sentimental favorites (I'm looking at you, Field of Dreams) and a few that I like as historical curiosities (61*, anybody?), but even those fall into the class of "Well, I like this movie, but..."

Miracle is emotional pandering to white middle-class America.  It's a paper-thin sports drama that goes back to one of our proudest moments as a nation and preaches to us about the values of unity, toughness, and hard work.  And, because Disney made it, it's all covered in a saccharine glaze of sweeping orchestral music and a smidge of family drama.

That said, parts of Miracle are good.  The scenes on the ice were compelling to my uneducated eye.  It sticks to a tried-and-true formula of "team of unknowns suffers through hardship together, gains cohesion, triumphs against all odds," which is probably good if you like the other films of this nature, like Hoosiers, Bad News Bears, or The Longest Yard.  The speech that Russell gives at the end, if you go for corny motivational speeches, is well-written and well-delivered.

But the thing that is most insulting, that is most unforgivable, is that this movie was released when it was and how it was.  It came out in Christmas of 2004, when the War on Terror was in full swing, and Bush had just gotten reelected on a platform of warmongering and misplaced nationalistic fervor.  This movie came out wrapped in red, white and blue, and trumpeting the United States' greatest triumph against a great foreign ideological bogeyman.  Such an obvious parallel is a blatant farce.  The Cold War, at least, was won through diplomatic maneuver and classic American soft power.  This current conflict that STILL isn't over five years later should not be propped up by such jingoistic marketing.  Yeah, I'm bitter.

star star no star no star no star no star no star no star no star no star