Flashback Review: Miracle

In 1980, Herb Brooks coached a team to compete in the Winter Olympics competing against a Soviet hockey team. Prior to the “Miracle on Ice,” the Soviet Union won previous games four times. In an attempt to raise America’s morale, Herb takes a hefty gamble. As a result of intense training and team coordination, America defeats the Soviet Union. Two Decades Later, Disney adapted Herb’s life story on the big screen following their huge success of “Remember the Titans & “The Rookie.” Kurt Russell reunites with Disney twenty-nine years after starring in “The Strongest Man in the World,” he portrays Herb Brooks in “Miracle.”

Miracle was officially released in 2004. (same year Million Dollar Baby came out) It received positive reviews from critics and movie goers alike. Besides good reception, the film made enough money at the box office. Thanks to Miracles’ Disney tried to replicate the film’s success with other sports themed films like “Ice Princess,” “Invincible,” “Glory Road” and “The Greatest Game Ever Played.” First time I’ve heard of Miracle, I was middle school learning about history. Kept me invested about an important piece of history.

During Christmas month, I’m selecting Disney films inspired by Nostalgia Critic’s Disneycember. Every December, Doug reviews Disney films. Which movies should I review during Christmas? Please leave a comment and I’ll respond back. By the way, Kurt Russell and his son Wyatt signed on to star an upcoming Godzilla series on Apple TV set after “Godzilla VS. King Kong.”

It doesn’t matter if SPOILERS are brought up. Some of us already know about the Miracle on Ice event. Is the movie worth a watch or skip? Let’s find out, shall we?

Victory & Defeat

Victory: Kurt Russell, Noah Emmerich & Patricia Clarkson all did a decent job for their respective performances.

Gavin O’Connor (Warrior, The Accountant, The Way Back) did a great job directing.

Eric Guggenheim & Mike Rich (The Rookie, Radio, Secretariat) co-wrote the script.

Chemistry between Herb and his players is the main highlight. As the film progresses, they learn how to cooperate with one another if they want to win against the Soviet Union.

Primary Themes are Leadership, Teamwork, Hopes and Dreams. Each one is handled carefully.

Pacing never felt slow or fast. I never felt bored.

The film begins with a montage of historical events of The Cold War leading up to the story.

Kurt actually coached the actors in character in order to give them intensive training for an actual hockey game.

Before the final game, Herb delivers an epic speech to his team. Kurt earns Bonus Points for delivering a speech. Definitely on the same level as Al Pacino in “Any Given Sunday.”

Aerosmith’s “Dream On” is played during the end credits. When I was eleven, I had no idea Aerosmith made that song in the ’70s. I thought Eminem & Aerosmith worked on “Sing for the Moment” as a collaboration like the latter & Run D.M.C.’s “Walk This Way.”

A “Where Are They Now” montage reveals what the players are up to nowadays.

The film dedicates the real Herb’s memory.

Defeat: Cinematography is often shaky. As if the cameraman drank too much Red Bull.

The Final Verdict: A-

From my point of view, Miracle is a feel-good biopic sports drama worth a watch. If you’re a history teacher, show this to your students. Teach then about an important piece of history. Don’t forget to check out other Disney sports dramas like The Rookie and Invincible.

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