A Disappointing Miracle

A Disappointing Miracle

Sam Lavely, Sports Editor

  Seeing that the A&E section has been dissolved due to the departure of Kai the A&E guy, I thought the summer issue would be a fitting issue to throw a movie review into the mix, of course making it relevant to the sports page. As far as classic sports movies go in Minnesota, “Miracle” has often been shoved into my face as the greatest sports movie of all time. The story of the 1980 men’s Olympic hockey team has been touted as one of the greatest Cinderella stories of all time, ending the Soviet Union’s fifteen years of dominance on the international level.
  While this victory was always praised for coming at the perfect time, I’ll have to say the movie did an obnoxious job reminding the viewers of what was happening. While it is understandable that they wanted to emphasize how big of an enemy the USSR was at the time of the games, they overdid it. Speeches from Nixon, Ford and Carter were scattered throughout the film, some very irrelevant. Also, while it may provide some nostalgia for those who were alive and aware during the games, this movie seems to be primarily made for kids, who would not understand the gravity of the Iranian hostage crisis and other like events.
  Also, I have had the pre-game speech delivered by Kurt Russell described as “amazing” and “the best movie speech ever” and this was just not the case. Even in the category of sports movies, it falls short to “Hoosiers”, “We Are Marshall” and “Any Given Sunday”.
  It’s a regular, run-of-the-mill sports speech about how the team is more important than the individual. You’re not playing for you you’re playing for everybody else. I felt extremely short changed as I watched this sequence.
  I will grant the movie that its ingame sequences were both fun to watch and well shot. Watching the big hits take place, the worry on the face of the Soviet coach, and the pure joy on the faces of USA players who scored goals all give a good representation of just how much of a miracle this was in real life.
  Finally, my last issue with the movie came from the ending. (Spoiler alert) after the United States won the game and Kurt Russell’s Herb Brooks goes into the tunnel to celebrate, there is no resolution given to the viewers about what happened afterward. Director Gavin O’Connor spent so much time throughout the movie describing what was going on at the time events
of the Cold War unraveling. However, upon the ending of the movie, we are given no information as to what happened after, even though this movie was made 24 years after the event. While it may seem obvious to some viewers that the USA never received a nuke from Russia, it would have been nice to gain closure on the hostage crisis and other such events.
  Although Miracle hits close to home for Minnesotans, I’d like to be bold enough to say it is an extremely average sports movie. It takes the “Killers” running drill sequence from “Hoosiers” and places it inside of the rink. It takes the coaching intensity from other football movies and applies it to Herb Brooks. It takes the jokes and light-heartedness from Bull Durham. Overall, it’s a typical sports movie that was not original but was entertaining. There are many sports movies I’d recommend to you before you view “Miracle”, but if you’re a hockey fan, it will satisfy you.
2/4