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Big Miracle

Big Miracle

Released 10 February 2012
Director Ken Kwapis
Starring





Drew Barrymore, John Krasinski, Kristen Bell, Dermot Mulroney, Tim Blake Nelson, Vinessa Shaw, John Pingayak, John Chase, Ahmaogak Sweeney, Ted Danson
Writer(s) Jack Amiel, Michael Begler
Producer(s)

Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Steve Golin, Michael Sugar
Origin United States, United Kingdom
Running Time 107 minutes
Genre Drama, romance
Rating PG
76

Miraculously good.

It is fair to say I wasn't expecting much from this film but, as I've said in countless reviews, the lower your expectations the greater the likelihood of enjoyment. Actually, I'm pretty sure I could have possessed much higher promise for Big Miracle and still come out the other end feeling rather good about life. For as corny as that sounds, this movie is similarly clichéd but it works.

Based on the true story of Operation Breakthrough, Big Miracle is about a rescue attempt for a family of gray whales trapped under ice in Alaska within the Arctic Circle. As the story is broken nationally by small-time reporter Adam Carlson, varying pockets of America's cultural population become frenzied in the efforts to guide the whales back to open water before the hole that is providing them with the only source of air to remain alive freezes over.

Greenpeace's Rachel Kramer, played by Drew Barrymore, succeeds in acquiring the help of two unlikely sources – a rich tycoon intent on draining Alaska of its oil supply and the President of the United States, as well as the local tribesmen who love the mammals but are falsely misinterpreted by their necessity at times to use the giants of the sea as a source of food.

Of course, no film of this nature would be complete without a romantic element and that is guaranteed with the obviously lobbed in crisis of love between Rachel and Adam, who previously dated each other. The side order of cheese was unavoidable but it is one of those rare moments where the sappiness laced throughout most of the scenes actually enhances the otherwise incredible story. And hey, if you go to a film with Barrymore, Ted Danson and Dermot Mulroney and think it won't be cheesy then you really are in search of a miracle!

Towards the end, there are even a few funny moments – Ronald Regan's portrayal and the slapstick references to the Cold War after the heroes signal in the help of the Soviet Union are particularly quaint and should draw in a chuckle from those old enough to remember that period of change. Big Miracle is sweet, charming and innocent. The chances of it leaving a long lasting impression are slim, but so too is the probability of you not enjoying it while it's on.

- David Caulfield