Synopsis: Based on the real life story of a family of grey whales which was trapped by the rapidly freezing ice on the Alaskan coast, forcing a community to come together to rescue the creatures.
Description: Drew Barrymore stars as a Greenpeace activist brought in by her news reporter ex boyfriend to help a small community band together to save three endangered whales.
Review: A family adventure movie whose title leaves very little to the imagination Big Miracle is a surprisingly sweet movie about how a group of people are changed by a mutual and amazing experience.
With a slightly bizarre ensemble cast that includes Ted Danson and John Karinski Big Miracle brings together an oil baron, a Greenpeace campaigner, a tribe of local Eskimos and politicians within the Reagan administration to a common cause. The movie takes an interesting step and doesn’t necessarily cast the good guys and the bad guys permanently in their roles from the outset, but rather allows the unique experience to help change and develop these characters into better people: the oil baron Danson for example begins helping with the rescue efforts for the positive publicity, whilst the conservative politicians view it as a perfect opportunity to improve their rather shoddy environmental record, yet by the time the credits are rolling each of the characters has changed, even if it’s only a little, and are moved by the beauty and plight of the trapped whales, almost forgetting their own selfish reasons for getting involved in the first place.
The movie caters to a handful of comic stereotypes as well, which rather than easing tension simply dulls the overall shine of the piece, a pair of American brothers find themselves depicted as the typical dim witted bumpkins, with all the daft, almost slap stick comedy that such a role entails. Yet if it’s enough to keep the attention of the children in the audience than I imagine the movie makers think it is a sacrifice worth making.
What I would have liked to see is an adult’s version of Big Miracle, one that was able to delve more into the individual psyches of those involved in the rescue effort, one that perhaps had a more realistic and tangible bite to it, instead however Big Miracle is a perfectly pleasing family drama with just enough comedy, romance and interesting animals to keep everyone entertained.