Big Miracle (2012)
The Rescue of Fred, Wilma and Bam-Bam
In the remote North Alaskan community of Barrow reporter Adam Carlson (John Krasinski) is desperate to find a story which will get him out of the place and when he spots a family of whales trapped in an ice hole he might just have the story which will bring him to the attention of the big league. It brings Adam's ex girlfriend Rachel (Drew Barrymore), a Greenpeace volunteer, up to Barrow when she sees his report on TV. But the story becomes big news and brings together a wide variety of people from oil drillers to entrepreneurs with ideas of how to save them all working together despite their differences to free the whales whilst also working to their own personal agendas.
"Big Miracle" is an incredibly simple movie as we watch how this small story of trapped whales in a small Alaskan community grows. We see how as more people get involved the bigger the story becomes and in doing so grabs a nation interest. And you have to say that whilst majestic whales are not the most attractive of animals yet their plight somehow grips you. In many ways "Big Miracle" has a similar power as "The Rescue of Jessica McClure" as it is the element of many people, racing against time to try and solve a seemingly impossible problem.
But what the "Big Miracle" has on top of this race against time is a collection of characters who not only don't get on but have ulterior motives. As such we have the conflict between Rachel and oilman J. W. McGraw as they have had battles in the past over the destruction of land, yet here they are, through McGraw's wife, working for the same cause. It gives the movie an extra layer of entertainment and shows that as humans we are not perfect and can frequently look at a situation as what's in it for me.
All this comes together to make an enjoyable movie which is boosted by a good cast which benefits from every single actor having an easy going side which allows for their character to be just the right amount of amusing. It allows for example Drew Barrymore as Rachel to be mostly convincing as an environmentalist but she will then say something in a certain way or react to someone which will be amusing. It is the same through out with Dermot Mulroney as a military man who is full of bluster but in truth seems like it is a front.
What this all boils down to is that "Big Miracle" is entertaining and is a nice update on a familiar story which not only manages to mix drama with humour but also shows that in a situation like this where enemies join forces they can still do so with their own agenda driving them on. My only negative is that whilst "Big Miracle" is a family movie with more craft to it than most it is a movie of character and dialogue which might not entertain a very young child.
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